By Izhak Dannon
Claiming a debt of some 95 million shekels, the debenture holders of BSR Europe, a public company, have filed a request for the liquidation of BSR in the Tel Aviv District Court. The trustees of the debenture holders, Aurora Fidelity Trust Company and Hermetic Trust (1975), asked the court to appoint a provisional liquidator in light of BSR defaulting on payments and various breaches of financial obligations to the bondholders.
The trustees told the court that BSR Europe has not paid the holders of the debentures (Series H – I) 49 million shekels, which it had been obliged to pay two months previously. According to the trustees the financial statements published by BSR claimed that the company was a going concern. However, according to BSR’s own statement its resources stood at approximately 101.2 to 120 million shekels and its obligations added up to between 132.3 to 146.3 million shekels, leaving a shortfall of 12.3 million shekels at best, to some 45.1 million shekels in the worst case.
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In addition the same BSR report shows that its resources are based on assumptions regarding anticipated income. However, the trustees noted that according to data presented by the company, apart from what it owes the bondholders, it owns some 17.5 million shekels to the Income Tax Authority, about 0.8 million shekels to the company CEO. This is without taking into consideration future liabilities, primarily investment in projects and payment of future taxes.
The debenture holders’ request to the court noted that BSR Europe is a holding company which involved in the real estate industry in Europe (especially Eastern Europe). and controlling shareholders are Nahshon Kiviti, Chairman of the Board, Eitan Eldar, Ro’i Gil, and Haya and Nehemiah Malbaum and Mario Segal. According to company reports, Michael and Raya Strauss may also be deemed to have a controlling interest. The trustees noted that until close to the date of payment to the bondholders, BSR Europe conducted its affairs as a solvent company to all intents and purposes.
The request further noted that, unfortunately, the extension given by the bondholders to BSR to avoid liquidation did not help, and was apparently exploited by the company and officers to the detriment of the creditors. According to the trustees, BSR Europe is indisputably insolvent, since it is unable to repay significant debts to the bondholders and in view of the recent conduct of the company and its officers, law and justice demands that the company should be run under the supervision of the liquidation court.
In order to prevent damage to company property and allow a thorough investigation of the conduct and actions of the controlling shareholders and officers, justice demands that a provisional liquidator be appointed urgently. Payment to creditors and the realization of assets should be carried out under court supervision to ensure that some creditors are not given preference over others and that assets are sold for appropriate values.