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Ukraine Court Rules Against Rusal in Zalk Aluminum Plant Dispute

March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s government won a court hearing as it seeks to regain control over the Zaporizhskyi aluminum smelter from Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s United Co. Rusal.

The Kiev Commercial Court ruled to overturn a sale agreement and return a 68.01 percent stake in the plant, known as Zalk, to Ukraine’s state property fund, the Prosecutor General’s Office, also based in the country’s capital, said today in a statement on its website.

The prosecutors filed the suit, saying Rusal refused to refinance the plant’s $75.5 million of debt, “violating the state’s property rights,” according to the statement.

Rusal, the world’s biggest producer of the light metal, said it has fulfilled all of its obligations as investor.

“The court’s decision has not taken effect yet, and the company will challenge the decision in upper courts,” Rusal said in an e-mailed statement. “Zalk currently generates losses now because of the unprecedented high price for electricity.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Daryna Krasnolutska in Kiev at dkrasnolutsk@bloomberg.net; Yuliya Fedorinova in Moscow at yfedorinova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net; John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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