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No Good Title for Assets in Yukos Auction

Today the Independent is running a story quoting Tim Osbourne of GML, who has issued a clear and stern warning to any oil companies seeking to participate in the upcoming auctions of Yukos assets:

The owners of Yukos have warned BP and other Western companies they face claims for billions of pounds in compensation if they participate in this week’s auction of the former Russian oil giant’s remaining assets. The London-based GML is pursuing a $50bn claim through the European Union Energy Charter Treaty to try to recover its assets. Tim Osborne, the director of GML, said that if the claim failed, the investment group could target companies and banks participating in the Yukos auction instead. “If anything goes wrong with the Energy Charter claim we would look very closely at who has bought the assets. We could look at a claim in the near future,” said Mr Osborne. “All other Yukos shareholders will be looking very closely at any Western company who does acquire the assets. That would be an easy way to get money back. It’s nice to know we have something to fall back on.” The first full hearing on GML’s claim takes place in June. The court will decide whether to proceed with it by the end of the year. Mr Osborne added: “No one participating in these actions can get good title. These are stolen assets. You can’t get good title if you know the person selling it has not acquired it legally.”