KYIV. Sept 18 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Shareholders of IDS Ukraine, who are not under sanctions, and management, who own over 50% in the company, insist on granting them the primary right to manage the seized share of shareholders who are under sanctions, again accusing ARMA and the company it selected to manage the company, Carpathian Mineral Waters, of violations.
“The right of private property is inviolable. Judicial seizure of assets leaves to non-sanctioned shareholders their legal right to own and use their property, take part in business management, and determine its development strategy,” Vadym Vychka, a member of the board of directors of IDS Ukraine said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Monday.
He called for changes to legislation that would allow non-sanctioned co-owners of companies to receive priority rights to manage them.
Speaking about the actions of the Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA), Vychka again accused it of trying to transfer management of the company’s assets to its closest competitor. According to his estimates, IDS Ukraine has almost 6 times more revenue compared to Carpathian Mineral Waters (UAH 4.8 billion/year versus UAH 800 million/year), almost 5 times more market share (39% versus 8%) and 14 times more brand recognition (42% vs. 3%).
He also claims that ARMA did not provide a timely assessment of the assets of IDS Ukraine, since the Habiano private enterprise, which won the appraiser competition, did not contact IDS Ukraine for information, and also accused the agency of trying to sign a management agreement with Carpathian Mineral Waters before receiving the AMCU permission for concentration.
As Vychka emphasized, only the legal confiscation of the share of sanctioned shareholders will allow the state to attract large international players interested in IDS Ukraine and ensure the maximum sale price.
According to his information, the Economic Security Bureau estimated the cost of IDS Ukraine at UAH 10 billion, and the Morshynska brand itself at UAH 525 million.
The member of the board of directors referred to one of the interviews with the owner of Carpathian Mineral Waters, where it was said that, despite gaining control over the Morshynska brand, they intend to concentrate on developing their own business.
Vychka claims that there are abuses by representatives of Carpathian Mineral Waters, who, from the moment they were announced as the winner of the competition, began to put pressure on customers, forcing them to purchase water under the Karpatska Dzherelna trademark when ordering Morshynska water. He regards such actions as anti-competitive behavior and disregard for business ethics.
The member of the board of directors also called on the Antimonopoly Committee to carefully analyze possible concentration. “By allowing it (concentration) without proper grounds, a monopolist may appear on the market, which will have a 50% share of the mineral water market in Ukraine, which, even before receiving permits, acted with dirty methods,” Vychka said.