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Uzbek Court Starts Bankruptcy Case Against Mobil'nye TeleSistemy OAO's Subsidiary Uzdunrobita-PRIME

Wednesday, 23 Jan 2013 02:40am EST 

PRIME reported that Tashkent’s Economic Court has launched bankruptcy proceedings against cellular operator Uzdunrobita, a subsidiary of Mobil'nye TeleSistemy OAO (MTS). The court will impose a supervision procedure on the company and appoint an interim manager. Within the next month, the court will make a list of debts and call the creditors for a meeting to choose a bankruptcy procedure,” the source said. Under the Uzbek legislation, an economic court considers a bankruptcy case within three months from the date of its launch. In extraordinary cases, the proceedings can be extended for no longer than two months. Uzdunrobita filed a bankruptcy motion earlier in January saying it cannot meet its financial obligations after a court revoked its license to operate in August as part of a dispute involving a criminal case against local MTS managers and a back-tax claim. MTS has dismissed around 170 Uzdunrobita employees since early January, and the remaining 200 workers will be dismissed on April 1. Uzdunrobita contributed revenue of USD 430 million or 3.5% of MTS’ total in 2011. MTS has already written off over $1 billion in costs in Uzbekistan and USD 579 million in impaired Uzbek assets between March and June last year. In November 2012, the court ordered Uzdunrobita to pay around USD 600 million in damages to the Uzbek government. Uzbekistan’s Supreme Economic Court repeatedly postponed hearing MTS’ cassation appeal contesting the revocation of Uzdunrobita’s licenses. 

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