NEW YORK, April 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A Manhattan federal judge on Friday, April 21, threw out claims seeking more than $3 billion from Len Blavatnik and his holding company, Access Industries and related entities, in the multi-year lawsuit challenging the 2007 merger of Lyondell Chemical Company and Basell Industries.
In his 173-page ruling, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn said, "No amount of mental gymnastics can substantiate a recovery on an intentional fraudulent transfer claim brought against Blavatnik..."
Judge Glenn validated Mr. Blavatnik's long-held position that the merger created incremental synergistic value and that the combined company's 2009 bankruptcy filing was the product of "unforeseeable" events that included "the tragic collapse of a large crane at the Houston refinery, two hurricanes, and of course, the Great Recession." The court went on to note, "The Trustee's challenge to the projected synergies, quite simply, failed miserably."
"It is gratifying that the Court has rejected each and every one of the Trustee's many claims based on the 2007 merger after a thorough review of the facts and the law," said Alejandro Moreno, general counsel of Access Industries. "Even though every other defendant settled, we remained firm in our belief that the claims against Mr. Blavatnik, Access entities, and Access personnel challenging the strategic rationale for and financing of the merger were meritless and based entirely on hindsight. Our position that the decision to acquire Lyondell and merge it with Basell was sound has now been completely vindicated."
"While the Court held that an Access entity should partially refund approximately $7 million on account of a commitment fee for an undrawn credit facility, that claim in no way impugns the judgment or integrity of Mr. Blavatnik, Access or LBI's management with respect to the merger or operation of the combined company during the unprecedented challenges faced by the global business during the Great Recession," Mr. Moreno said.
Access Industries and Mr. Blavatnik are represented by Richard I. Werder, Jr. and Susheel Kirpalani of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
About Access Industries
Founded in 1986 by Len Blavatnik, an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, Access Industries is a privately-held industrial group with strategic investments in the United States, Europe and South America. With corporate offices in New York, London and Moscow, its holdings include a number of market-leading companies in the Natural Resources and Chemicals, Media and Telecommunications, Technology and E-commerce, and Real Estate sectors. For more information, visit www.accessindustries.com
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SOURCE Access Industries