Veljko Tomanovic, member of the international attorney team representing the founder of the indebted food and retail group Agrokor, Ivica Todoric, appeared on N1 television's morning show, Novi Dan, on Wednesday.
What does the team representing Ivica Todoric plan to do these days, do you contest today’s court hearing and the decision on the debt-for-equity settlement deal with the company’s creditors?
“Our position is that this should not have been done this way, and it’s been stated clearly in a court complaint filed by members of our team in Croatia, because formal conditions for this haven’t been met as the settlement was drafted by a body which is not a legitimate representative of company’s creditors. That’s one reason.
Another reason is that we have a corrected version of the settlement which was done clumsily, which would require the deadline to vote for the settlement to be postponed so that everyone becomes familiar with the figures which have been put into the draft afterwards. There are other elements too – material deficiencies in the settlement itself, which makes it legally unsustainable, and is unlikely to survive. Our team believes that this settlement will not survive in this form.”
Do you intend to attempt to dispute the settlement in today’s court hearing, and what does Ivica Todoric think of the event?
“Since the very start of all this he kept pointing to a series of irregularities about it, and he feels it is his duty as the owner of the company to point to illegal actions, and he will continue to insist on doing it. As for the legal team, our representatives will be at the hearing, and we will try to point to deficiencies of the deal, and everything that has been done to discriminate creditors in order to favour some other creditors, as well as unclear figures stated in it. There’s a series of other problems with documents and guarantees and disputed claims. So overall, this settlement plan could cause more problems than it could potentially solve, and in its current form it is something we must dispute today. Whether we would be given opportunity to do so, we shall see.”
Is there any possibility that the settlement does not get voted in today, that perhaps the vote gets postponed?
“A lot of things can affect that, the media said this (voting for the deal) is something expected, but my client’s view is that it can be expectedly illegal when an entire political structure is oriented towards that goal. In our view, if we look at purely the legal side of things, is that this settlement must be rejected today, but whether this will actually happen on legal and formal grounds, we have yet to see.
We have filed to the court a request listing all the irregularities, so the court is now a key actor. This vote is only one of the steps, we feel the court is the most important institution in this process. And contrary to the way it has been marginalised in the media and depicted as merely a rubber stamp court, we think it has a difficult job to do – it needs to examine more than 7,000 pages which it received…We’ll see what happens. The emergency administration expires on July 10 by law, but for the court judge there is no deadline – it is completely within her rights to examine the settlement for as long as her ethics allows.”