Almaty, April 4, 2017 – In less than four weeks the trial of the fraud claims brought by certain members of Kazakhstan Kagazy Group (the “Claimants”) against the Claimants’ former shareholders and directors, Maksat Arip and Shynar Dikhanayeva (the “Defendants”), will commence in the London High Court. Trial is scheduled to start on April 25, 2017, with an estimated duration of three months.
The claims were commenced in August 2013, when the Claimants’ obtained a worldwide freezing order against Mr Arip’s assets. This order remains in place against Mr Arip’s worldwide assets up to the value of GBP72,000,000, while the claims against the Defendants currently stand at over US$260,000,000. The freezing order will be maintained until the conclusion of trial. The Defendants deny any wrongdoing, and are contesting the claims.
The Claimants’ current management team, together with their legal advisers, are trying to recover funds that were allegedly syphoned-off from the Claimants by the Defendants between 2005 and 2009. The allegedly stolen funds were provided by institutions including “Alliance Bank” JSС and “Development Bank of Kazakhstan” JSС, as well as Kazakh investors in the KASE-listed bonds of “Kazakhstan Kagazy” JSC, and international investors in the London Stock Exchange listing of Kazakhstan Kagazy PLC.
In February 2016, the Claimants and Baglan Zhunus settled their claims in all jurisdictions.
In August 2016, the creditors of “Kazakhstan Kagazy” JSC approved a rehabilitation plan for the company, which includes recovery of the allegedly stolen funds as one of the primary means by which creditors can be repaid.
Over the course of the forthcoming trial, the Claimants’ lawyers will present their evidence and expert reports to the court. If the claims are accepted, management hopes that it will be possible to return a substantial part of the stolen funds to Kazakhstan, where the funds will be used to repay the Claimants’ debt to creditors.
Kazakhstan Kagazy Group was established in 2001 and is the biggest producer of recycled paper and packaging in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.