The process of reaching a settlement under the extraordinary administration procedure of Agrokor is one of the most complex in Croatia and in Europe due to the complexities of Agrokor as a business and the total amount of the debt as well as the large number of creditors, 5.700 of them. This section contains all the news on the process of reaching of a settlement for all the key stakeholders, as well as the latest details and developments.
High Commercial Court Confirms Creditors’ Settlement Plan for Agrokor
26. Oct 2018.
The High Commercial Court of Zagreb through its Council consisting of judges Branka Vučaj, Chairwoman of the Council, Dubravka Zubović, Judge Rapporteur and Nevenka Marković, Member of the Council in the Extraordinary Administration Procedure over the debtor Agrokor and its subsidiary and affiliated companies passed a ruling whereby they refused and dismissed all appeals lodged by the creditors to the Ruling of the Commercial Court of Zagreb dated 6 July, 2018 confirming the Settlement Plan adopted by the creditors in the Extraordinary Administration Procedure at the voting hearing held on 4 July, 2018.
The regularity and legality of the contested Ruling was investigated by assessing and analysing the 87 individually lodged appeals and the Council decided that the appeals were partly not substantiated and partly not permitted.
The High Commercial Court assessed that no significant violations were committed of either the procedure or of the subject matter as pointed at by individual creditors – appellants, neither in the procedure that preceded the passing of the ruling which confirmed the Settlement Plan nor in the adoption of the Settlement Plan itself.
The reasons stated in the explanation of the contested Ruling were clear and understandable and had a factual and legal foundation which clearly demonstrated pursuant to which relevant facts and evidence the First Instance Court (Commercial Court) applied the procedural and subtantive laws. Hence this Court assesses that the First Instance Court passed the contested Ruling in the sense of Art. 43 ZPIUTD (Act on Extraordinary Administration Procedure in Companies of Systemic Importance to the Republic of Croatia), which stipulates the ‘Settlement between the debtor and the creditors’, having in mind the relevant facts established in the respective procedure – states the Ruling of the High Commercial Court.
„High Commercial Court confirmed the creditors’ Settlement Plan in this procedure, whereby it has become effective. Creditors’ appeals to the Ruling of the Commercial Court, 87 of them in total, were refused or dismissed. The High Commercial Court has thus completely confirmed the legality of the procedure of achieving and adopting the Settlement Plan between the creditors, in all of its stages. This makes us happy here at the Extraordinary Administration and I believe also all those creditors who have to a high degree voted in favor of the Settlement Plan at the hearing in July. In particular, with this Ruling the most important assumption / condition precedent has been met for the commencement of the implementation and everything the creditors have agreed in the Settlement Plan, which will make sure for them to be able to manage this company eventually. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the process, in particular our employees, the creditors who have borne the greatest burden in the restructuring and in recovering Agrokor from bankruptcy, the Government and especially our consumers who have with their trust made it possible for this company to continue its normal operations“ – Fabris Peruško, the Extraordinary Commissioner said.
„The decision of the High Commercial Court has confirmed our belief that our work has been appropriate and legitimate and this is a reason for us to be very happy today, indeed. We are also happy because the Settlement Plan has become effective, as this means that we can proceed with the next stage of our work, for which we have been getting prepared since the voting hearing. In particular, as of today the most important assumption / condition precedent for the commencement of the Settlement Plan Implementation has been met, a large and demanding project which will take place over the course of the next few months. The process of transferring business operations to the new group is very complex and contains very many steps, as our calculations show – more than 100,000 of them“ – Irena Weber, Deputy Extraordinary Commissioner said.
Also, she added that the project is in the final stage of preparation. The pilot companies in the process are Konzum and Ledo. More than 90 people already work on carrying out the steps of the implementation plan and another 250 people will get involved in the project team work over the course of the next two weeks. More than 30 workshops were held as well as a number of coordination and Q&A meetings daily.
„It is important to note that over the course of the entire implementation period all companies will continue with their normal operations, which means that the employees will need to exert additional efforts. However, as the implementation is organized as a project, we are confident that all operating tasks will run smoothly, as it was the case throughout the Extraordinary Administration Procedure. I would also like to thank primarily our employees, but also all the other stakeholders in the process who have, in their own way, all contributed to bring the process to a successful end“ – Irena Weber said.