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The hearing to liquidate the Russian-owned leasing companies has been postponed until the end of May

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The High Court has conceded to adjourn a hearing to dissolve two Russian state-owned aircraft and shipping leasing firms valued at more than $4.5 billion (€4.11 billion) until the end of the month. Four creditors of the firms have asked the High Court to appoint a liquidator to Irish registered GTLK Europe DAC, and the related entity GTLK Europe Capital DAC, because the companies are insolvent and unable to pay off their debts. With the petition bolstered by other creditors, Damien Murran and Julian Moroney of Teneo Restructuring Ireland are requested to be chosen as joint liquidators to the entities that have been gravely affected by global sanctions imposed on Russia for the invasion of Ukraine.

The firms are challenging the application, arguing that, in spite of the sanctions, they are solvent. Should the application be successful and a liquidator be appointed to the firms, it would be the largest dissolution in the history of the Irish State.

Mr Justice Brian O’Moore had scheduled the hearing of the petition to wind up the companies for the upcoming week, anticipated to last two days. However, subsequent to a pre-trial application by Benedict O’Floinn SC for the companies on Thursday, the judge accepted to postpone the hearing to the end of May. Mr O’Floinn asked the court to consider deferring the matter for an additional four weeks, asserting the court had set up a timetable for the trade of pleadings and the hearing of the petition. He mentioned that, in spite of the evident difficulties, his side had done its best to comply with the timetable, yet, considering the intricacies involved, wouldn’t be able to provide legal submissions in time for the scheduled hearing.

Kelley Smith SC, instructed by William Fry Solicitors for the creditors, had disputed the adjournment and claimed the case should proceed as originally planned. She stated there seemed to be no disagreement regarding the facts of the case between the parties, and her clients are worried about the matter being elongated any further than necessary.

Mr Justice O’Moore said the court wanted to be fair to all sides and agreed to adjourn the matter to the end of the month, scheduling the hearing for the 29th and 30th of May. In light of the urgency of the matter and the size and scale of the businesses sought to be dissolved, the judge stated he was not prepared to postpone the matter any further than the end of the month.

GTLK is Russia’s largest leasing business in the transport sector, leasing ships and aircraft to customers all over the world. It is ultimately owned by the Russian Federation’s ministry of transport, with several directors of GTLK’s ultimate parent being government ministers or deputy ministers in the Kremlin. The four creditors that have petitioned the court for orders winding up the GTLK firms are Dublin registered Trinity investments DAC and an associated entity Allestor Europe Multi Asset Portfolio, which is a sub fund of Allestor Capital ICAV. The other two creditors seeking the winding up orders are Ben Oldman Special Situations Fund LP and Sona Credit Master Fund Limited, both registered in the Caymen Islands.

The creditors claim that they are owed around $178 million by GTLK Europe. They allege that the economic sanctions imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 have had an ‘annihilating effect’ on the GTLK Europe Group. GTLK’s Europe Group’s international leasing business is headquartered in Dublin, and the firms that are sought to be dissolved are at the pinnacle of the group’s structure. The creditors assert that they entered into a series of agreements to restructure the respondent company’s debts, where they advanced considerable funds to GTLK Europe Captial, of which GTLK was a co-guarantor. After the sanctions were imposed, the creditors claim there has been substantial default by GTLK Europe Capital concerning its repayment obligations, particularly the requirement to pay back interest due on the loans. The creditors allege that the group has not satisfied their demands for repayment.

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Eric
Eric
Eric is a talented writer who has worked as a journalist for 8 years now. With a wealth of experience in journalism, he brings a unique perspective to his work. Eric is known for his ability to write about complex topics in a way that is easy for readers to understand. His articles are insightful and thought-provoking, and he always strives to provide balanced coverage of the news. Eric is dedicated to his craft and spends countless hours researching and fact-checking his stories. When he's not writing, Eric enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with his family.

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