Irish Court Orders Wind-Up of Two Russian State-Owned Lessors

Ireland's High Court on Wednesday ordered the winding up of two sanctions-hit state-owned Russian leasing firms based in Ireland after a group of creditors said the companies had no prospect of clawing back an almost $1.6 billion net deficit, Reuters reported. GTLK Europe DAC and GTLK Europe Capital DAC, whose main business is aircraft leasing, had sought to prevent the appointment of liquidators by applying for court protection from creditors, citing a decree by Russian President Vladimir Putin to relieve $1.5 billion of debt. The High Court denied the request to enter examinership, a process akin to chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States that allows an applicant time to restructure debts while operating as a going concern. "It seems to me that the petitioner did not act in good faith and the relief should be refused," Judge Conor Dignam told the court. He went on to list a number of "fatal" shortcomings of the examinership request, noting that the possible appearance of certain assets in the future did not amount to creation of a reasonable chance of survival for the firms as going concerns. Read more.