BMIC Limited (“BMIC”) a wholly owned subsidiary of the Batelco Group of Companies, has successfully obtained over recent months from the High Court of England both a judgment against Chinnakannan Sivasankaran and Siva Limited (the “Defendants”) for the sum of USD 212 million (the “Judgement”) and an indefinite worldwide freezing order against the Defendants’ assets.
BMIC has also successfully obtained an order against Mr. Sivasankaran to provide comprehensive documentary disclosure to the Court regarding the nature, value and location of his assets globally and to attend Court to be cross-examined about those assets. Mr. Sivasankaran has not opposed the worldwide freezing order or the orders relating to the provision of further information and his personal examination before the Court.
On Tuesday 26 August 2014 Mr. Sivasankaran was declared a bankrupt by the Supreme Court of the Seychelles. The bankruptcy order was made following the filing of a debtor’s petition by Mr. Sivasankaran. An Official Receiver has been appointed as the receiver and manager of Mr. Sivasankaran’s global assets with immediate effect. BMIC is the largest creditor of Mr. Sivasankaran’s bankrupt estate and will pursue all legal avenues to recover the outstanding Judgement debt from his global assets.
Batelco Group CEO Alan Whelan said, “We are very pleased with the support that we have received to date from the English and Seychelles Courts in relation to our enforcement action against the defendants. Mr. Sivasankaran’s bankruptcy will not thwart our determination to recover the substantial monies that he owes us. As the major creditor of Mr. Sivasankaran’s bankrupt estate, we will provide all relevant support and assistance to the Official Receiver to enable the timely recovery and realization of sufficient assets from his global estate to repay our outstanding judgement debt. Our successful enforcement action with the Courts to date, confirms our resolve and commitment to have our debt fully and promptly paid.”
BMIC originally acquired a 42.7% stake of Indian registered S Tel in 2009. S Tel had been awarded a 2G Licence in 2008. Following the cancelation of 2G licences by India’s Supreme Court in February 2012, BMIC sought to implement a put option agreement with the defendants, which under certain circumstances, such as the cancelation of S Tel’s 2G licence, or a failure by Siva to secure debt financing, would ensure that Siva bought back the shares acquired by BMIC at the price paid originally. BMIC and the defendants entered into a binding Settlement Agreement to give effect to this commitment, which contained a promise by Mr. Sivasankaran and Siva Limited to make payment to BMIC in agreed circumstances. The defendants failed to comply with their obligations under the Settlement Agreement. BMIC subsequently commenced proceedings against the defendants in the English High Court and successfully obtained the judgement for USSD 212 million.
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