The Damascus court ordered the revocation of the 720,000 Syriatel shares from the name of OT and their re-registration in the name of Rami Makhlouf, Syriatel said in a statement. It also ordered OT to pay $20 million to Makhlouf in compensation. The court found that OT had been in breach of its contract with Drex and Makhlouf, Syriatel said.
OT has consistently rejected its Syrian partners’ claims and has intimated that Makhlouf’s goal has been to secure overall control of the venture. The Egyptian firm has also raised questions about the conduct of the Syrian courts in the affair.
It is understood that the contracts between the two parties do not provide for any resort to arbitration.
OT in May sold most of its stake in Syriatel to BVI-registered operator Cylotel. However that deal has been blocked by Syrian courts. The Drex stake in Syriatel has also been sold, to Ramak, a local company controlled by Makhlouf family interests.