Pinchuk Settles $2 Billion Battle of Billionaires Before Trial

  • Ukrainian had sued Kolomoisky, Bogoliubov over company sale
  • Two-month London trial was scheduled to begin Monday

Billionaire Victor Pinchuk settled a $2 billion London lawsuit just days before he was set to go head-to-head with two fellow Ukrainian magnates in a trial over the purchase of a company he claimed turned out to be worthless.

Pinchuk, worth $1.5 billion according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, had sued Gennady Bogoliubov and Igor Kolomoisky over his March 2005 purchase of Alcross Commercial Ltd. from the two men. The hard-fought suit, filed in March 2013, resulted in unsubstantiated claims of bribery, assault and murder.

A U.K. representative of Pinchuk said in an e-mail the suit was settled without giving any more details. Kolomoisky declined to comment when reached by cell phone. Lawyers for Bogoliubov didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail requesting comment.

London courts have regularly played host to disputes between wealthy eastern European businessmen over deals struck in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, often involving unsubstantiated allegations of violence, corruption and organized crime. In 2012, United Co. Rusal Chief Executive Officer Oleg Deripaska was accused by Michael Cherney in a $1 billion lawsuit of being involved in bribing a Russian governor and belonging to a criminal organization. The case was later settled.

In his lawsuit, Pinchuk said that he discovered Alcross Commercial was a worthless shell company after he paid the two men $143 million. Pinchuk says Bogoliubov and Kolomoisky told him Alcross Commercial controlled Ukrainian ore-mining company Krivorozhskiy Zhelezorudnyy Kombinat, but never transferred the company to him.

Ukraine magazine Novoe Vremya said in October that Kolomoisky is worth $1.9 billion and Bogoliubov’s net worth as $1.8 billion.

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