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Italian businessman sues Lithuania over alcoholic drinks company

Šampanas
Tomo Urbelionio/BFL nuotr. / Šampanas
Šaltinis: BNS
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Italian businessman Luigiterzo Bosca, who made an unsuccessful attempt to buy the alcoholic beverage producer Alita from the state, has filed a 229.836 million euro claim with an international arbitration court against Lithuania.

The Italian has lodged the claim with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).

Bosca, who is embroiled in disputes with the State Property Fund (SPF) at Lithuanian courts, claims that he suffered 229.836 million euros in losses due to his participation in Alita's privatization tender and due to a violation of the Lithuanian-Italian bilateral investment protection agreement, the Lithuanian Court of Appeals said in its 1 March ruling.

The SPF, which in 2006 lost a dispute with Bosca over Alita's privatization and paid him nearly 2 million litas (EUR 580,000) in damages, sought to reopen the dispute, claiming that new circumstances had emerged allegedly proving that the Italian had acted in bad faith.

However, the Court of Appeal ruled that these new circumstances did not have any essential significance to the case and upheld the Vilnius Regional Court's decision not to renew the proceedings.

Bosca submitted the highest bid, of 90.7 million litas (EUR 26.3 mln), for a majority stake in Alita in 2003. However, the beverage company was sold to its management team for 57.55 million litas. In 2006, the SPF lost the case against the Italian businessman over his removal from the privatization and paid him 1.754 million litas in court-awarded damages.

Lithuania is being represented in the international dispute with Bosca by the law firm Lideika, Petrauskas, Valiūnas & Partneriai LAWIN and Huges Hubbard & Reed LLP.

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court ruled in 2006 that the government's decision of December 2003, paving the way for Alita's privatization, was unconstitutional. In the same year, a special parliamentary commission established that the state had suffered 35.905 million litas in damages as a result of the sale.

BNS
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