Pre-judgment attachments COFCO lifted

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Rotterdam, 28 maart 2018

Today, the preliminary relief judge of the District Court of Rotterdam delivered judgment in three related connected cases. In these three preliminary relief cases the claimants requested to lift pre-judgment attachments. COFCO had filed a petition with the court for these pre-judgment attachments in January 2018, for claims following the takeover of Nidera. COFCO claims that the takeover took place under the influence of fraud committed by Cygne. A proceeding on the merits of this case is being dealt with in ICC arbitration.

Multiple pre-judgment attachments

The pre-judgment attachments were requested for an amount of US$ 500 million in damages (US$ 550 including interest and costs) which COFCO claims from Cygne. Other pre-jugdment were effected for an amount of US$ 288 million that COFCO claims from the three individual directors of Cygne and Swansea as well as Swansea, the sole shareholder of Cygne. . These pre-judgment attachments were grounded on the basis of an unlawful act. More specifically COFCO claims that these four parties are frustrating the redress of its claim on Cygne.

No plausible claim

The preliminary relief judge lifted the pre-judgment attachments in all three cases. Grounds for this decision is that it is not likely that COFCO’s claim will amount to more than US$ 187,5 million, which amount has been put into an escrow account pursuant to an order in an emergency ICC arbitration in 2017. More specifically, the judge decided that COFCO, while claiming more than US$ 500 million in damages, was not able to substantiate its claim and provide the judge and other parties concerned with any calculation. This also resulted in the decision to lift the pre-judgment attachments concerning the sole shareholder Swansae and the directors. Another claim, to disclose information relating to the attachments, was denied.

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