Boa Offshore is finally ready to put its long-running dispute with a company backed by a troubled Ukrainian billionaire to bed.
The Norwegian offshore vessel, tug and construction barge owner said on Tuesday that it had finally reached a settlement with Kosyantyn Zhevago’s Calexco worth as much as NOK 85m ($7.6m) in a legal battle stretching back to the 2015 cancellation of a newbuilding at a Norwegian shipyard.
“Today, after several attempts to reach a settlement, a global settlement agreement is entered into between” Boa Offshore, its subsidiaries, Calexco and Waltham Ltd, the company said in a stock exchange filing.
It said the settlement is subject to consent from a majority of bondholders in three bonds and expects to receive confirmation on 10 November.
The settlement will take the form of a dividend.
The eight-year dispute began with Boa Offshore cancelling an order for an inspection, maintenance and repair ship under construction at Noryards.
The vessel was to be owned by Boa IMR, which was majority owned by Boa Offshore with Calexco — the yard’s owner — taking a 35% stake.
Shortly thereafter, the yard filed for bankruptcy while a string of ostensibly Zhevago-backed entities attempted to block the payment of roughly $12m to Boa Offshore.
The companies would lose both in Norwegian court and in arbitration, with Boa Offshore recouping some of that $12m and the last loss coming in late 2021.
The 2021 arbitration ruling, disclosed by Boa Offshore in January 2022, determined Calexco had unlawfully blocked the payment and that Calexco is obligated to vote in favour of the dividend, then worth as much as NOK 87.6m, and pay Boa Offshore’s legal costs.
Calexco fought Boa Offshore against the backdrop of criminal allegations against Zhevago — a self-made billionaire in the mining industry and one-time parliamentarian — by Ukrainian authorities.
In 2019, Zhevago was charged with embezzling and laundering more than $113m at his Finance & Credit Bank and the alleged behaviour landed him on Interpol’s wanted list two years later.
In late 2022, he was arrested in France at Ukraine’s request but a French court refused to extradite him.
Earlier this year, Zhevago was charged with paying a $1.8m to bribe the former head of Ukraine’s supreme court under the guise of mediation services.