Ukrainian controversial oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky is ready to sign an “amicable agreement” with the country's authorities over PrivatBank, owned by the businessman until it was nationalised in late 2016, in exchange of around 25% of shares in the bank.
"The way out with PrivatBank is to return me my capital. Return the shares. Count me my UAH50bn-UAH60bn, give me some shares. It will be 24%, or 25.5% or 26%," Kolomoisky said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online outlet last week.
The bank was found to allegedly have a UAH148bn ($5.6bn) hole in its balance sheet because of related-party financing. In 2017, the then central bank governor Valeriya Gontareva said the post-nationalisation audit of the bank found that 100% of the corporate portfolio had been made to related parties.
"We do not know if it contributed [by the government] UAH150bn-UAH160bn. If they contributed so much money and they cannot be withdrawn from there, then I have an option - count me UAH50bn; you while have UAH160bn there. Give me shares on this money. We will continue coexisting and managing the bank in the future," the businessman added.
On April 18, the Kyiv Administrative Court ruled upon hearing an appeal by former co-owner of the bank Ihor Kolomoisky that the procedure whereby the state participates in resolving the insolvent PrivatBank was out of compliance with applicable laws.
The same day, the court ruled for the cancellation of the NBU's resolution determining a list of related parties of PrivatBank. That resolution listed the legal entities that fell under the bank's bail-in procedure - which involved the writing down of $1.1bn of the bank’s liabilities (including $550mn in Eurobonds).
The bail-in followed recognition of PrivatBank's insolvency and preceded its nationalization in December 2016. The court ruling was based on a claim filed by its former key shareholder, Kolomoisky, and his related entity, Triantal Investments Ltd.
The decision grants former PrivatBank shareholders the ability to reclaim their funds that were bailed in during the nationalisation, the NBU stated, stressing that it was a first-tier court ruling and therefore doesn't take immediate effect. The NBU has promised to appeal the ruling.
Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine on May 16 from Israel, ending an absence in Ukraine that began in June 2017. On May 12, another former co-owner of PrivatBank, Gennady Bogolyubov, also returned to Ukraine from Israel.