A pair of investors in LZ Aeronautical Industries, the division of Moravan Aeroplanes now in control of Let L-410 turboprop production in Kunovice, Czech Republic, have threatened to launch international arbitration proceedings against the country if its courts fail to pursue criminal and civil charges against Morovan chairman Libor Soska. Frontier Petroleum Services principles Don Jewitt and Milan Matusik claim they bought 49 percent of the company’s stock for Kc205 million ($6.9 million), but after they demanded an accounting of their investment, LZ personnel physically blocked Matusik’s entry into the plant for a board meeting. Soon afterward, Matusik discovered that LZ reconstituted its ownership structure, leaving a Soska-controlled company called MMT Plus a 51-percent stake and Moravan Aeroplanes the remaining 49 percent. Soska claims the money invested by Jewitt and Matusik represents a loan repayable in five years or an equity stake in the company after that period.
Meanwhile, U.S. entrepreneur Randall Brink has intensified his efforts to void the transfer of the Let assets to Moravan, most recently hiring a former official of the Czech state police to pursue an investigation into alleged corruption in the bankruptcy process. Brink, an aspiring airline chairman and one of three bidders for Let’s assets after Albany, Ga.-based Ayres Corp. lost control of the company in the spring of 2001, claims the bankruptcy administrator obstructed his attempts to buy the company by withholding critical contractual documents. He also asserts that because the Prague-based private bank CSOB had filed a bankruptcy claim against Moravan Otrokovice before the end of the Let tender process, Moravan Aeroplanes should not have legally qualified as a buyer.