August 13, 2018 / 1:00 AM / 2 months ago

Venezuela's PDVSA appealing Crystallex court ruling: court document

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA is appealing a decision allowing Canadian miner Crystallex to take control of shares in U.S. subsidiary PDV Holdings as part of a 10 year dispute over the state takeover of Crystallex assets, a court filing shows.

The corporate logo of the state oil company PDVSA is seen at a gas station in Caracas, Venezuela March 18, 2018. Picture taken March 18, 2018. REUTERS/Marco Bello

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware last week ruled that Crystallex could attach shares of PDVH, owner U.S. refiner Citgo, to collect on a $1.4 billion award to compensate it for the 2008 nationalization. [L1N1V1015][L1N1V1178]

“Notice is hereby given that (PDVSA) ... hereby appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from the Order of this Court entered on August 9, 2018,” wrote Samuel T. Hirzel, a lawyer for PDVSA, in a filing posted to the Delaware court’s docket on Friday.

The filing did not provide additional details.

“We are confident that Judge Stark’s careful and well thought out opinion is correct and will withstand all scrutiny,” Crystallex lawyer Robert Weigel said via telephone, referring to Judge Leonard P. Stark.

Two years ago, the government of President Nicolas Maduro used 49.9 percent of Citgo shares as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan from Russian oil major Rosneft. The remaining 50.1 percent was set aside as collateral for PDVSA’s 2020 bond.

The Crystallex case has been closely watched by investors holding billions of dollars in Venezuelan bonds, which are almost all in default as the OPEC nation struggles under the collapse of its socialist economy.

Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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