Fortenova: Amsterdam Court Rejects Sheikh’s Requests

Lauren Simmonds


June the 29th, 2023 – Fortenova has been being somewhat raked over the hot coals again of late. If you follow the world of Croatian business, you may recall a certain Sheikh bizarrely becoming involved in this, one of the most important domestic companies…

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this past week, the judge for provisional measures of the Court in Amsterdam rejected all the remaining requests made by SBK Art and Saif Alketbi.

This essentially boils down to an attempt to halt the sale process of Fortenova Group MidCo B.V. and entirely dictate the course of that process, although as a sanctioned party, they actually don’t have the right to vote. The pending litigation of SBK Art and Saif Alketbi has as such been rejected by the Dutch judiciary for the third time now.

All requests have been completely rejected

This judgement was passed on June the 14th after an oral hearing of the involved parties was held. The Dutch court first rejected an initial request to prohibit the holding of the assembly of holders of depository receipts. Following that came the decision and the latest judgement on the rejection of all other requests made by SBK Art and Saif Alketbi.

The details

From the detailed explanation of the judgement, it’s important to highlight the Dutch court’s emphasis on the fact from previous judgements according to which SBK Art, as a sanctioned person, may neither directly nor indirectly exercise any right to vote.

First of all, the court concluded that Fortenova Group TopCo B.V. has a justified interest in the sale of Fortenova Group MidCo B.V. in order to ensure the sustainability of the Fortenova Group’s financing, which is impaired by the participation of sanctioned persons in the ownership structure.

According to the Court in Amsterdam, the current process of investigating interests in the purchase of Fortenova Group MidCo has adequate measures to protect the interests of all stakeholders in the process. The theory is that the Fortenova Group is allegedly aiming to eliminate SBK Art through the sale of MidCo to the second largest unsanctioned shareholder at too low a price.

The plaintiff(s) must pay the legal fees

The Dutch court also established that SBK Art does and has been receiving all of the information to which it is entitled, and that Mr. Saif Alketbi himself “is not the holder of depository receipts and therefore does not have the right to access information in accordance with the administrative rules of the Fortenova Group STAK”.

The plaintiffs, namely SBK Art and Saif Alketbi, were ordered to pay the legal fees and court fees of the Fortenova Group for this process.


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