Winterfell, a company owned by Isabel dos Santos that owned Efacec’s stake, which was acquired by the State, challenged the nationalization of this company. Winterfell argues that it was not heard before this decision by the Government, unlike the other shareholders.
It was last July that the Government decided to nationalize the 71.73% stake that Isabel dos Santos held in Efacec, through the company Winterfell. This stake was put up for sale following the involvement of the Angolan businesswoman in the Luanda Leaks case, but a buyer was never found. In view of the company’s financial difficulties, the Government decided to proceed with a temporary nationalization of this participation, with the aim of re-selling it soon.
At the time, no values were defined for this operation. Also in July, the Government announced that it was evaluating the compensation that must be paid by the State for this nationalization. In Parliament, Economy Minister Pedro Siza Vieira said that this compensation would be paid “to anyone who proves that he belongs” to the stake in question. Now, the Angolan businesswoman comes to contest the process. “The company Winterfell, in the scope of the exercise of its rights, informs that (…) it presented on September 25, before the Supreme Administrative Court, an action to challenge the administrative act and the decision of the Government to nationalize its actions at Efacec “, can be read in the statement sent this Tuesday, September 29, to the newsrooms.
Winterfell understands that nationalization “violated a set of legal requirements”. Right away, he argues, “only Winterfell’s shares (71.73% of the share capital) were nationalized and not those of the other shareholders”. Thus, he considers, “Efacec was not truly nationalized, contrary to what was publicly announced”.
At the same time, Winterfell stresses that it was not entitled to a “prior hearing” to nationalization, “unlike the other shareholders who were heard by the Government, which constitutes discrimination and violation of the principle of equality of the right of establishment and the right of movement of capital “.
Isabel dos Santos’ company also argues that the Portuguese government has not identified “holders of pledge rights over nationalized shares”, a decision that “has an equity impact on Winterfell, seriously affecting the term of bank loan agreements” .
What aggravates the nationalization decision, Winterfell considers, is the fact that there are no “facts that demonstrate the verification of the public interest” of this measure, at the same time that “false assumptions” were evoked, since, guarantees the company, the Winterfell “has not been notified of any foreclosure on his shares or bank accounts”.
Isabel dos Santos’ company accuses the Portuguese State of serving as a “surrogate in the economy and in the right to private property”, in reference to the Government’s intention to re-sell the stake it nationalized.
Winterfell concludes by saying that the process of selling its stake in Efacec was ongoing and, as of June 29, 2020, “at least nine firm proposals from interested entities” had been received.
News last updated at 9h54 with more information.