PANKAJ and Radhika Oswal and US company Apache Corporation have settled their part of a mammoth legal case over the sale of the Indian couple’s Australian fertiliser business.
However, the main legal stoush continues as the former Perth couple seeks up to $2.5 billion in damages from the ANZ bank and receivers over the sale.
It is likely Apache will drop out of the complex civil case that involves numerous claims and counter-claims.
The US oil and gas company’s barrister Stewart Anderson QC on Thursday said the terms of a settlement have been agreed between the Oswals and Apache.
For the settlement to go ahead, the Federal Court will be asked to vary an order freezing Mrs Oswal’s assets in a separate case involving the taxation commissioner.
“With goodwill I’ve got every expectation that Apache has resolved its difficulties with the Oswals and it may be that Yara does the same,” Mr Anderson told the Victorian Supreme Court.
Talks between the Oswals and Norwegian chemical company Yara are continuing.
The Oswals argue the $US560 million sale of their stake in parent company Burrup Holdings in 2012 represented less than half its true value and the bank was simply interested in getting the debt the Oswals owed covered.
Apache, which supplied gas to the Burrup ammonia plant in Western Australia, bought 49 per cent of Burrup Holdings while existing shareholder Yara lifted its stake to 51 per cent. Yara now owns 100 per cent.
Mr Oswal has been accused of misappropriating more than $150 million in Burrup Fertilisers money for the couple’s personal benefit, including Mrs Oswal’s vegetarian restaurant chain, luxury cars and Perth mansions including the unfinished “Taj Mahal on the Swan River”.
Mr Oswal argues the payments were partly in restitution of debts connected with the plant’s construction.
Receiver Simon Theobald of PPB Advisory is giving evidence about the alleged misappropriation on Thursday.