On March 19, the High Court of London blocked accounts of the British Company Metabay Import/Export Limited by claim of the Darnitsa Pharmaceutical Company. Metabay acts as an intermediary in the procedure of purchasing pharmaceutical raw materials for PJSC SPC Borshchahivskiy chemical pharmaceutical plant (BCPP) from the German company Farmaplant Fabrikation Chemischer Produkte GmbH. RBC-Ukraine informed about this on March 29.
According to the Darnitsa’s lawyer, BCPP had been purchasing pharmaceutical raw materials from Farmaplant at a price that is significantly higher than the market price at least since 2014. Darnitsa estimates the amount of damage at $4.7 million US Dollars. The claimant believes that the overpaid sums were transferred to the account of Metabay under the guise of a commission for the fact that the latter allegedly contributed to the conclusion of contracts for the supply of pharmaceutical raw materials.
Darnitsa lawyers state that the controller and beneficial owner Metabay is BCPP Business Development Director Irina Rzhepetska, who is also the daughter of the Chairman of the BCPP Supervisory Board Mykola Bezpalko and Liudmyla Bezpalko, who headed the enterprise as CEO until 2018. In this way, the lawyers note, the management of BCPP has not only been artificially inflating the costs of the enterprise for many years, thereby damaging the enterprise itself and its shareholders, but also has been appropriating the overpaid funds through the indicated scheme.
” The Company applied to the London court for the money not to be withdrawn to the offshore accounts, said the Darnitsa’s lawyer, counsel at the law firm Aequo, Yevhen Levitskyi. Darnitsa, as the shareholder with the largest block of shares, filed a lawsuit on behalf of the BCPP in a Ukrainian court against the unscrupulous managers of this enterprise, demanding compensation for the multimillion-dollar damage suffered by the BCPP. Precisely in order for the compensation to become effected, and for the funds withdrawn to the offshore not to disappear somewhere, the English court decided to seize them,'' Levitskyi said.
On March 26, a Swiss court took a decision to seize funds in Metabay’s accounts, agreeing with Darnitsa’s arguments. On April 16, the London court will continue to consider the seizure of funds. At the session on October 29, 2020, the Supreme Court of Ukraine, with the panel of judges from the Commercial Cassation Court, upheld the cassation appeal of the Darnitsa pharmaceutical company and confirmed the legality of its acquisition of shares in the Borshchahivskiy Chemical Pharmaceutical Plant. The Supreme Court overturned the decision of the Northern Commercial Court of Appeal of August 25 and upheld the decision of the Kyiv Commercial Court of November 4, 2019, which states that the sale of BCPP shares to Darnitsa happened in accordance with the law.
In the course of exchange trading in 2015, Darnitsa bought a stake of 3,100 BCPP shares (29.95% of the authorized capital) from the Department of Communal Property of Kyiv. According to Delo.ua, the transaction value was UAH 171.844 million with a starting price of shares at UAH 143.2 million.
Darnitsa was founded in 1930; the company's portfolio includes about 280 names of finished medicinal products. The beneficiaries of the company are the Zagoriy family; the net profit of the company in 2019 increased by 30%. Borshchahivskiy Chemical Pharmaceutical Plant is one of the top 20 largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in Ukraine that produces more than 100 medicinal products, dietary/food additives, preparations for veterinary medicine, disinfectants.