On May 29, the Kyiv Economic Court overturned the decision that resulted in Swissport International Ltd (Switzerland ) losing ownership of the Interavia airport ground services company (formerly known as Swissport Ukraine) on 27 April 2013, with control of the company passing to the airline company Ukraine International Airlines (UIA). The Interfax Ukraine news agency reported this, citing Artur Kiyan, a senior lawyer with the Lavrynovych & Partners law firm.
On April 22, the Kyiv Economic Court upheld the Swissport International company’s lawsuit against Interavia, in which it asked the court to invalidate the decisions that were adopted at a general meeting of Swissport Ukraine’s shareholders and the changes that were approved to the company’s charter (regarding change of ownership).
The decision of the UIA’s general meeting that was being challenged approved amendments to Swissport Ukraine’s charter, according to which slightly more than 70% of the shares in the company were transferred from Swissport International to the UIA and Swissport Ukraine itself was renamed Interavia.
As reported, Swissport International acquired a stake in Interavia from the UIA in 2006, when carrier was under state control.
The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine permitted UIA to acquire an unspecified stake in Swissport Ukraine in December 2012. Later, the main dispute between the UIA and Swissport International centered around the value of Swissport Ukraine. According to the Swiss company, the UIA valued 70.4% of Swissport Ukraine at USD 400,000 while Swissport International valued it at USD 25-30 million.
Litigation between the two companies began in early 2013, with courts at various levels backing the UIA’s position. In particular, an appeal court upheld a decision that enabled the UIA to acquire a 100% stake in Swissport Ukraine on March 27, 2013.
The Higher Economic Court of Ukraine later overturned the judgment on the basis of which Swissport International lost ownership of Swissport Ukraine to the UIA on April 27, 2013 and sent the case back to the court of first instance.
Swissport International Ltd. provides ground services for around 118 million passengers and 3.5 million tons of cargo a year on behalf of about 650 client-companies in the aviation sector. With a workforce of around 40,000 personnel, Swissport is active at 181 stations in 37 countries on five continents, and it generates annual consolidated operating revenue of CHF 1.9 billion.