PwC Appeal Denied in Yukos Case

A Moscow court terminated an appeal by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Russian unit, affirming an earlier ruling that the company had prepared two diverging sets of audits for Yukos, a court spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The move by the Ninth Arbitration Court validates a lower court ruling from March 2007, court spokeswoman Anna Semyonova said. PwC will appeal the decision, Yekaterina Shapochka, spokeswoman for PwC's Russia unit, said by telephone Tuesday.

"The appeal was terminated because one of the co-defendants, Yukos, has been liquidated," Shapochka said. "If one of the co-defendants is liquidated, then the entire case should be terminated, not only the appeal."

PwC was Yukos' auditor at a time when the country's tax service claimed billions of dollars in unpaid taxes from the oil company. Yukos, once the country's largest company by market value, was driven into bankruptcy by the claims, and its assets were sold in liquidation sales.

Russian tax officials said in March that PwC presented one set of audit conclusions for Yukos management and another for shareholders from 2002 to 2004. The lower court ordered PwC's Russian unit to pay a fine of 16.8 million rubles ($686,000).