Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Shareholder sues BGI Ethiopia for over 8 Million Birr, claiming illegal transfer of 27% ownership

By Eyasu Zekarias

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BGI Ethiopia has been sued for more than 8 million birr. The individual claiming that their 27% ownership share of BGI Ethiopia Plc. was illegally taken from them is demanding the return of their share ownership. They are also seeking payment of the unpaid dividend.

On May 31, 2024, Zewdnesh Getahun Asrat filed her case with the Federal First Instance Court, a special court for trade and investment cases. The lawsuit includes Jean-Paul Blavier, the former CEO of BGI who passed away last month, the representative of the other defendant Brasseries International Holding Limited (B.I.H), and Hebu Properties Limited.

Zewdnesh Getahun asserts that the court should order the payment of the estimated Birr 8,283,000 representing BGI Ethiopia’s 27% share and undistributed dividend. Her lawyers argue that despite her proven 27% ownership in BGI, a company that has experienced significant growth since its establishment, her ownership was illegally transferred based on a forged document falsely claiming that she had “completely transferred” her share in the company.

Zewdnesh Getahun claims that she founded BGI Ethiopia Plc. together with Mr. Castle, the main shareholder of Castle Group, after being introduced to Castle Group investors through her daughter, Lydia Mekonnen.

The plaintiff contends that when BGI, the Castel Group company, sold its entire share in BGI Ethiopia Plc., her share and ownership were fully preserved. However, she alleges that BIH purchased a share from BGI and, through capital changes, her 27% ownership share was illegally taken away and given to the 3rd and 4th defendants.

The plaintiff is seeking a court ruling affirming Zewdnesh Getahun as the owner of 27% of the shares of BGI Ethiopia Plc. Additionally, she is requesting an official verification of the company’s undistributed profits since April 2001 and payment with interest.

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