NewsNews2 September 2020

1+1 media expresses concern about the situation surrounding the ARMA competition

On August 28, 2020, the National Agency of Ukraine for Identification, Search and Management of Assets Obtained from Corruption and Other Crimes (ARMA) completed the acceptance of documents within the framework of the repeated competition for the management of assets of Ukrainian Media Holding (UMH). One of the six participants in the competition is 1+1 Internet LLC, which is part of the 1+1 media group.

The 1+1 media group is alarmed by the course of the second round of determining the winners of the competition and has reason to believe that foul play is being conducted.

The key difference between the new competition and the previous one was the appearance of a number of new requirements for participants and a change in key criteria. Thus, the written assurance that the participant is not under the control of UMH or its beneficiaries has disappeared from the criteria. Moreover, there was a requirement that the participant obtain the consent of the owner of the assets in the form of corporate rights to manage them. Thus, ARMA has officially declared as an essential requirement the consent of persons who have a direct relationship with the owner of the UMH, and therefore cannot be a neutral link in the process. Also, a week before the final date for submission of documents, the media holding's lawyers discovered that the requirements for key tender documents had changed, which was not reported additionally, and which could have led to the rejection of the application by both LLC "1+1 Internet" and other participants.

According to 1+1 media sources, such significant changes in the rules of the competition conditions are being actively lobbied by one of the participants in the competition — Ukrainian Media House Publishing LLC, which is closely related to structures that are part of Serhiy Kurchenko's sphere of influence.

1+1 media considers this to be an alarming signal, which indicates the lack of transparency of the repeated competition and the passive role of such an institution as ARMA, which thus absolves itself of responsibility for the effective management of the property transferred to it for state management. 1+1 media, as before, requires to ensure the openness and transparency of the competition and summarizing its results. If the issue is resolved in favor of "Ukrainian Media House" LLC, "1+1 Internet" LLC will appeal this result in court.

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