Sayenko Kharenko has successfully represented Auchan before the Supreme Court of Ukraine in a case against the Asset Recovery and Management Agency of Ukraine.
According to Sayenko Kharenko, the case related to the alleged unlawful sale of land plots owned by Auchan and Ceetrus. “In 2013, the Auchan group of companies and Ceetrus acquired the corporate rights of S.P.T. LLC and ABC Technology LLC, which owned 26.8 hectares of land in the Odessa Region. In April 2019, the right to manage the land plots was transferred to the ARMA and, in July, the land plots were sold to a relatively unknown Ukrainian company for only 4 percent of their market value. Auchan had planned to develop the Les Vignes retail park on the land plots, including an Auchan hypermarket, a gallery of boutiques (4,000 square meters), a retail park (42,000 square meters), and a shopping and entertainment mall (35,000 square meters).”
According to the firm, its team “brought sufficient arguments against ARMA showing it acted in violation of the law. They also questioned the power of ARMA, being the state authority, to sell assets transferred to its possession without direct permission of the owner or a court. For this reason, and due to the inter-jurisdictional nature of the dispute, the case was referred to the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court.”
“The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court has created a precedent by issuing a Resolution emphasizing that ARMA cannot sell assets transferred to it in absence of a separate court ruling ordering such sale,” according to SK. “Accordingly, the ARMA has adopted the decision on the sale of the land plot owned by Auchan unlawfully and without а proper authority.”
Auchan Retail Ukraine has been operating in Ukraine since 2008 and has 34 stores of various formats (hypermarkets, supermarkets, and Pick-up-Points around apartment buildings) in nine cities.
Ceetrus is an international developer of shopping malls and retail parks in the country. By the end of 2020, the company was operating seven shopping galleries within the Auchan Shopping Mall in Kyiv and Lviv, Auchan Rive Gauche Shopping Mall, and Retail Park Petrivka in Kyiv.
Sayenko Kharenko’s team included Partners Sergey Pogrebnoy and Sergiy Smirnov, Counsels Oleksiy Koltok and Zlata Simonenko, Senior Associate Sergiy Protyven, Associates Vadym Slesarchuk, Zhanna Zayets, Olena Solonska, and Yevhen Miroshnykov, and Junior Associate Vladyslav Shtager.