Ukraine: Austrian Businessman Wants Invalidation of Airport Purchase because of Hidden Debts

27. Juli 2006, 00:00

A mere six months after winning a tender for the purchase of an airport in Ukraines Ternopil, Austrian citizen...

A mere six months after winning a tender for the purchase of an airport in Ukraines Ternopil, Austrian citizen Christian Tscherner, of Graz, has requested invalidation of the purchase in court. He claims the airport had many hidden debts and will plead for resigning of the contract under new terms.

Tscherner has been familiar with Ukrainian ways of doing business, owing a slew of properties in the country. He owns Lviv region-based Service Centre Stryj Striy, which is a company running a hotel and operating catering, cleaning and recycling businesses.

"We found too many mistakes in the contract. It was just not possible to follow it," he said.

Now Tscherner is hoping for a fresh start. He said that after the sale is invalidated, and the airports UAH 1,200,000 (USD 240,000) in debts has been cleared, he hopes to bid for it again.

Tscherner was named winner of the tender after he outbade all his rivals with a UAH 32 million (USD 6.4 million) offer, way higher from the starting price of UAH 10 million (USD 2 million).

Preparing for the pending trial, Ternopils local privatisation authorities retorted Tscherner had plenty of time to familiarise with the airports books and could have discovered the debts. Besides, contrary to Tscherners claims, the Ternopil SPF has said that the airports debts do not exceed UAH 750,000 (USD 150,000).

So far the Ternopil Region authorities have only received about UAH 999,000 (around USD 200,000), or 10 per cent of the airports starting bid, from the Austrian businessman.

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