Attempts by the Uzbekistan government to sell the assets it seized from MTS’s local subsidiary at an auction have failed, and they are now being offered to the creditors in lieu of debts.
Uzdunrobita, MTS’s wholly owned subsidiary in Uzbekistan, was declared bankrupt by the government in an action that is being contested by MTS. Attempts to sell the assets in two auctions did not get any bidders — no doubt put off by the ongoing legal challenge to the sale.
MTS says that it has now learnt that the authorities have reached out directly to Uzdunrobita creditors offering to purchase assets of Uzdunrobita.
MTS said that it understands that the liquidation administrator has now proposed that the creditors of Uzdunrobita purchase these assets. Should this proposal not succeed, the liquidation administrator may transfer all of the assets of Uzdunrobita to local authorities.
MTS stated again that the claims of the Uzbek authorities and actions in Uzbekistan, which resulted in the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings and attempts to sell Uzdunrobita’s assets, have no legal or factual basis. In addition, MTS said that it will seek to fully recover damages or obtain other relief from any party involved in depriving MTS of its business and assets in Uzbekistan.
MTS has a claim pending against the government at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).