Norwegian billionaire Alexander Vik has been ordered to answer accusations from Deutsche Bank in court that he lied about trying to evade a $320m debt or face prison for contempt of court.
Vik, who comes from a family of fur merchants, has been locked in a bitter dispute with Deutsche Bank since he lost an $8bn case against the bank in 2013 over a margin cell that went unpaid during the financial crisis.
The bank has been trying to recover the debt from Vik's investment fund, Sebastian Holdings (SHI), of which he is sole shareholder and director. However, Deutsche Bank claims Vik has failed to pay the $320m, "taken action to strip SHI of any assets" and "deliberately failed to disclose many documents and lied under oath".
The bank sought to enforce a UK ruling that would require Vik, whom Deutsche Bank describes as "Monaco domiciled ultra high net worth individual", to disclose information the bank claims he concealed and to answer their questions in court or face jail for contempt of court.
Court of Appeal judges today ruled that it was in the public interest to grant the court jurisdiction over Vik, despite the fact he does not live in the UK. Vik has appealed the order to pay back the $320m on the grounds that he is not based in the UK. He has denied non complying with the order to obtain information from Deutsche Bank.
Deutsche Bank declined to comment.
Lawyers for Vik could not be reached for comment.