Bosnalijek lost the cassation appeal and remained without 11.5 million euros
On April 25, 2018, the Arbitration court of the North-Western district (St. Petersburg, Russia) dismissed the cassation appeal of Bosnalijek to the decision of the Appeal Arbitration court. As a result, the pharmaceutical company finally lost the chance to return €11.5 million of receivables for the supply of its products to the Russian distributor Imperia Sodruzhestvo.
Litigation over this debt has been dragging on since December 2016, when Bosnalijek filed a lawsuit in the Arbitration court of St. Petersburg.
In the course of a court session on June 19, 2017 it became evident, that on December 30, 2016 the management of Bosnalijek had assigned the debt of Imperia Sodruzhestvo (total sum 16,5 million euros) to Maksimus Holding, a Slovenian company. In its turn, on May 16, 2017, Maksimus Holding further assigned this debt to Russia-based company International Agency Next-Concert.
As a result, on July 19, 2017, the 13th Appeal Arbitration Court in St.-Petersburg decided to replace the plaintiff in the lawsuit and refused Bosnalijek in its claims for €11.5 million to Imperia Sodruzhestvo. The management of the Bosnian pharmaceutical company, not agreeing with this decision, continued to challenge it in court, achieving a new trial.
During the new litigation Bosnalijek’s claims to collect debt from Imperia Sodruzhestvo were examined and refused once again. The final point in this lawsuit was put on April 25, 2018 by the court of cassation.
It is worth noting, that the suspicious assignments of Bosnalijek’s receivables were the subject of close scrutiny by the Bosnian media in the autumn of 2017. As it was found out by investigative journalists, the management of the pharmaceutical company used such transactions in 2015-2017 to siphon Bosnalijek funds. Various foreign companies from Slovenia, Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic were involved in this business. The beneficiaries of all dubious deals had strong connections with Bosnalijek’s Director Nedim Uzunović.
In addition, according to the media, at least part of the funds withdrawn from the accounts of Bosnalijek, been used to purchase additional shares of the pharmaceutical company in the interests of its top managers and shareholders close to them.
As it became known in April 2018, the Bosnian law enforcement authorities (State Investigation and Protection Agency, SIPA) initiated an investigation against one citizen of BiH and four foreign citizens involved in the withdrawal of Bosnalijek’s funds contrary to the interests of the company. The case was transferred to the Prosecutor’s office of Bosnia and Herzegovina.