Freezing Order of Chinnakannan Sivasankaran and Siva Limited Assets Extended by English High Court of Justice
Batelco continues to seek payment following successful USD 212 Million claim
Batelco Group (Ticker: BATELCO), the international Telecommunications Group with operations across 14 countries, was successful in two applications on the 5th August before the English High Court as part of its ongoing efforts to enforce a judgment for the sum of USD 212 million against the defendants.
BMIC Limited’s first successful application was to extend indefinitely a worldwide freezing order against the assets of Chinnakannan Sivasankaran and Siva Limited (the defendants). The Court also ordered Mr Sivasankaran to provide a further affidavit to BMIC Limited on an expedited basis addressing apparent deficiencies with the statements of assets he has provided pursuant to the freezing order. The defendants have not challenged the evidential basis on which the freezing order was originally granted, and did not oppose the extension of the freezing order or the need for Mr Sivasankaran to provide further evidence addressing the apparent deficiencies.
BMIC Limited’s second successful application was for an Order against Mr Siva to provide comprehensive documentary disclosure about the nature, value and location of his assets globally and then to attend court to be cross-examined about those assets. Again, Mr Sivasankaran did not oppose the making of the order.
Alan Whelan, Group CEO of Batelco said, “We are very pleased with the English High Court’s support on this matter. Mr Siva was ordered by Justice Popplewell to remedy apparent deficiencies with the statements of assets he has provided to date, and also to provide comprehensive documentary disclosure about his global assets. BMIC will also have the opportunity to cross-examine Mr Siva in detail about those assets. The worldwide freezing order will remain in place indefinitely whilst we continue to pursue Mr Siva to repay the significant judgement debt that is owed to BMIC.
We are very disappointed that Mr Sivasankaran and Siva Limited have failed to date to make payment to BMIC of the judgment debt. The defendants’ continued breach of their obligation to make payment means that Batelco and its subsidiary BMIC have no choice but to increase their legal enforcement efforts, wherever Mr Sivasankaran and Siva Limited have a presence, to ensure the payment of the judgment takes place. We will continue to use all available options to ensure that Mr Sivasankaran and Siva Limited do not avoid their legal obligations to BMIC. These successful applications confirm our resolve 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.