BCR is asking for the insolvency of the European Drinks group of companies

13 nov. 2017 English Section
A.S. (Translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
BCR is asking for the insolvency of the European Drinks group of companies

In October, the Romanian Commercial Bank, through Schoenherr şi Asociaţii, has submitted, with the County Court of Bihor, a request for the insolvency of the European Drinks group, owned by the Micula brothers. That group includes: European Drinks, Transilvania General Import-Export, European Food, Starmill SRL, Scandic Distilleries SA, Rieni Drinks.

Sources from the insolvency business claim that the debt of the European Drinks group to BCR is about 180 million Euros and about 100 million Euros to the Romanian government.

In March last year, the Ministry of Public Finances announced, in a press release, that Romania has paid the compensations owed to the Micula brothers, which had been set in 2013 by the Arbitration Court of Washington, of approximately 376,433,229 lei plus interest, the equivalent of approximately 84.50 million plus interest, but it enact the decision of the European Commission to recoup the amount, because otherwise it is at risk of having an infringement procedure being opened against it, as the payment can be considered a state aid.

In 2015, lawyer Gheorghe Piperea was saying: "Following the ICSID decision of 2013, the state is required to pay the Micula brothers approximately 180 million Euros.

In January 2014, the Minister of Finance has decided to offset part of that amount with the debts which the companies owned by the two businessmen had to the state budget. The Micula brothers challenged the decision, and that offset is now considered by the European Commission as an illegal state aid, which has to be repaid. Since the state has still not paid the debt set by the ICSID to this day, about 180 million Euros in penalties and interest have accrued since then".

The lawyer claims that the decision of the EC does not invalidate the ruling of the ICSID and that those penalties need to be paid by the Ministry of Finance.

The Micula brothers were announcing at the time, that they were going to challenge in court, in the European and national courts, the ruling of the EC that the state needs to recoup from them the damages awarded following the termination of a program for supporting investments in disadvantaged areas, as they deemed it abusive.

Ioan Micula, who has a Swedish citizenship, was saying that if the group he owns together with his brother will be affected by the decision of the European Commission, they will sue the Romanian state for 2.5 billion Euros, which is how much the investments they made in Romania are worth.

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