VILNIUS – The controlling stake in Biriu Kroviniu Terminalas (Bulk Cargo Terminal, or BKT), a Klaipeda port operator majority-owned by entrepreneur Igor Udovickij, was moved to Switzerland early this year, Siena, an investigative journalism center, reported on Monday.
The management of BKT, which used to handle millions of tons of Belaruskali fertilizers until February, and the individuals directly related to the movement of shares refused to make any comments.
Tax expert Daiva Cibiriene mentioned several possible reasons behind this decision: Udovickij’s wish to become a tax resident of that country, the unannounced sale of BKT’s shares to another owner or a movement of capital to a safer jurisdiction in Switzerland.
Udovickij moved BKT’s control abroad as early as in November 2020 when his Latvian-registered company, Fortis Asset Management, took over the bulk of his 70-percent stake in BKT. Since then, Udovickij owned 5 percent of shares in BKT directly and Fortis Asset Management held a 65-percent stake.
On January 20, however, the 65-percent stake in BKT came under the ownership of Hasenberg, a Swiss company founded early in 2020.
The structure of its shareholders is unknown but its management board includes Arunas Alisauskas, CEO and a minority shareholder of Melt Water, a research and production company controlled by Udovickij.
Meanwhile, Belaruskali continues to hold the remaining 30 percent stake in the terminal.