Controversy Brews Over Jermuk’s Control

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The controversy over the control of Jermuk–a company that bottles mineral water–has shifted from the court-room to meetings with the press. The attempts made by the Armenian-American co-owner of this company–Kaytsak Zetlian–to get the deal on the sale–by the second co-owner–citizen of Armenia Ashot Arsenian–of a portion of the company’s shares to Cyprus-based businessman Hakob Sapunjian ended in failure. Zetlian’s representative Sargis Hatspanian said they will seek the revision of the case in upper courts.

Initially–Zetlian and Arsenian each owned 50% of the shares. According to Hatspanian–Zetlian lays a number of claims to Arsenian. Thus–Kaytsak Zetlian did not obtain any dividends from the company even though he had invested $916,725 in it According to Hatspanian–Zetlian only twice received sums of $50,000–but they were not formally drawn up as dividends. In Zetlian’s opinion–the reason is that the bulk of the company’s products is "left"–i.e.–unregistered–and so all incomes earned go directly to the pocket of Arsenian and his close associates.

As the deal on compensation for expenses to Arsenian was not observed–Zetlian found a buyer for 45 percent of 50 percent of the shares belonging to Arsenian-Hakob Sapunjian–a businessman from Cyprus. It was stipulated that the shares would go to Zetlian unless Sapunjian had purchased them by April 10–1999. Sapunjian purchased the shares but past the deadline and so had to make a deal with Arsenian.

According to Hatspanian–Sapunjian paid $1,800,000 to Arsenian for shares which is much more than the sum indicated in the official document.

Ashot Arsenian’s brother–Samvel Arsenian–who was present at the press conference–rejected all claims by Zetlian. He assured those present that the incomes of the company are spent to upgrade production. He gave a warning that "the plant will come to a halt in a month’s time if it is fully transferred to the ‘Americans’".

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