The Serbian Glass factory located in Paracin was recently declared bankrupt by the Commercial Court in Kragujevac, Serbia. This was after the factory was unable to repay its debts that had accumulated to 47 million euros within a period of 45 days. However, many critics argue that the circumstances that led to the factory being declared bankrupt all point to a politically motivated plot.
The Bulgarian Tycoon Link
The Serbian Glass factory is linked to the Bulgarian tycoon, Tsvetan Vassilev, who is wanted in Bulgaria for the collapse of his bank, the Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB). Tsvetan initially bought the company in 2006. Over the years, the company’s gas and electricity debts rose exponentially thereby necessitating negotiations with Srbijagas in 2009.
The meeting resulted in Srbijagas converting all its debt into shares in the company. However, in 2012 Srbijagas sold its stake back to Vassilev who bought it through a consortium of companies which included CCB, Rubin and Glass Industry. In addition, the company also managed to get a write-off of all the debts owed to other state companies.
However, it’s the tycoon’s link with CCB that made him very famous. The CCB collapse in 2014 is the largest ever in the history of Bulgaria. Investigations into the bank’s collapse indicate that the bank was being drained by its owner and that it was running a ponzi scheme. Furthermore, Vassilev was also accused of having acquired over 103 million euros in assets from it.
Bankruptcy Ruling And Effects
Given that the company was declared bankrupt, this meant that it was not in a position to settle its debts. Therefore, if there was any form of misappropriation in the company, then it would be hard to prove it. Furthermore, a bankrupt company is more likely to be bought at a cheaper market price and its employees are more likely to be sacked.
In order to understand the whole situation, it’s important to start from the top. The Serbian Glass factory was acquired by a consortium of companies in 2012 with the Bulgarian tycoon owning more than 50% of all shares. It was then alleged that the company received loans in 2012 and 2013 through four loan instalments (a fact that has been disputed by the company’s lawyers in court).
In the month of May, 2017, the factory’s lawyers went to court, disputed the debt and filed lawsuits against six complainants including Vassilev. They also held that some of the managers and shareholders were involved in mismanagement and that the debt portfolio of the company had been falsified.
Many critics are arguing that the situation that led to its bankruptcy declaration should be investigated. For starters, this is not the first time that the tycoon has been involved in a case of mismanagement in a company (if what happened at the CCB is anything to go by). This means that the bankruptcy declaration by the Serbian Glass Factory was either politically motivated or a case of pilferage of funds.
Check out Serbia Regional Party’s stance on the Catalonia vote.