Billionaire Pinchuk Sues Two Ukrainian Magnates in London

Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk filed a suit with London’s High Court against two other magnates from his country, accusing them of selling him a shell company eight years ago.

Pinchuk in March 2005 paid $143 million to Gennady Bogoliubov and Igor Kolomoisky to purchase Alcross Commercial Ltd., which they told him owned Ukrainian ore-mining company Krivorozhskiy Zhelezorudnyy Kombinat, according to a summary of Pinchuk’s claim provided by his press office.

Alcross was really “a worthless shell company,” according to Pinchuk’s claim. “The defendants have repeatedly promised to transfer the ore-mining company to Mr. Pinchuk but at every juncture they have failed to deliver,” the claim reads. Pinchuk filed the case in London because Bogoliubov is based there, according to the claim.

Bogoliubov and Kolomoisky, who are business partners and have assets ranging from banks to iron ore and oil, may have sold around 50 percent of the mining company to a third party in 2007, according to the claim.

Pinchuk is claiming breach of contract and breach of trust in the suit, which was issued March 12, according to the summary.

Forbes magazine estimates Pinchuk’s net worth at $3.8 billion, Bogoliubov at $1.7 billion and Kolomoisky at $2.4 billion.

Oleg Serga, spokesman for Privatbank, one of Kolomoisky and Bogoliubov’s main businesses in Ukraine, declined to comment when called today by Bloomberg News. Bogoliubov and Kolomoisky do not have other spokesmen.

“The claims are misconceived and will be vigorously defended,” Ian Terry, a lawyer representing Bogoliubov, said in an e-mail.

-- With assistance from Kateryna Choursina in Kiev. Editors: Jerrold Colten, Heather Langan

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