Bloomberg News

Slovakia Wins Health-Insurance Arbitrage With Penta Subsidiary

October 24, 2011

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- An arbitration court ruled in favor of Slovakia in a case brought by a private health insurer that claimed damages resulting from a legislation that banned the industry from making a profit, the Finance Ministry said.

Arbitration judges dismissed the 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) dispute with a subsidiary of Penta Investments, a private-equity group, which controls Slovak health insurer Dovera AS on the grounds it doesn’t fall into the panel’s jurisdiction, the ministry said.

The Netherlands-incorporated unit argued Slovakia violated the treaty between the two countries on protection of investment when parliament in 2007 approved a bill requiring all health insurers to spend profits on medical care. The changes made the industry unattractive for private companies, in line with a plan by then Prime Minister Robert Fico to increase state influence in the economy.

Penta will not challenge the verdict because the health insurance bill has already been amended to remove the ban, spokesman Martin Danko said in an e-mailed release. The group is also suing the state at a local court for an unspecified amount in a pending case on which he declined to comment.

Slovakia was represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

--Editor: Douglas Lytle

To contact the reporters on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at rtomek@bloomberg.net; Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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