Court Rejects Zsolnay Liquidation Request

  • 26 Jul 2016 9:00 AM
Court Rejects Zsolnay Liquidation Request
A court in western Hungary has rejected a bailiff’s request to liquidate porcelain maker Zsolnay, the company’s counsel told MTI. The company was informed of the decision in a fax from the Zalaegerszeg court on Friday, Imre Bodnár said, confirming a report on the website of daily Népszabadság.

The court said the bailiff should have allowed Zsolnay to repay a loan as it served the interest of the company’s creditors, he added. Bodnár said the behaviour of the bailiff was “very concerning” and called Zsolnay’s situation a “pivotal point” in the history of liquidations in Hungary.

He also suggested the bailiff may not have been acting primarily in creditors’ interest. At a press conference on Wednesday, it was revealed that Bachar Najari, the majority owner of Zsolnay, had placed 400 million forints (EUR 1.27m) the company owes the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) in escrow, and was waiting for the court to decide where it should be transferred.

Najari and his wife Petra Cséplő, who also chairs Zsolnay’s board, said they dispute West Hungária Bau’s purchase of the asset from MFB.

Cséplő noted that they had offered to buy the loan earlier for 260 million forints, which they learnt was well over the price it was sold to West Hungária Bau. Najari has complained that his company is “under attack” by parties who want to take over its business on the market for European Unionsupported building renovation.

Zsolnay tiles and ornaments adorn many landmark art nouveau buildings in Hungary. Officials of the local council of Pécs, which owns a minority stake in Zsolnay, have said the business is on the verge of bankruptcy and set up a company to take over its operation.

Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.

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