A civil court in the Santa Fe town of Reconquista declared the formal opening of the preventive contest for the agro-exporter Vicentin Saic and set June 9 as the deadline for credit verification, judicial sources reported today.
The firm, which makes up the ranking of the 10 most important agro-exporters in the country, went into default on December 5 when it was unable to meet its obligations due to a “situation of financial stress”, as reported by the company.
The debt contracted by Vicentin with national and international banking entities and with suppliers amounts to some 1,350 million dollars.
From the credit verification established by the Civil and Commercial Judge of 2 de Reconquista, Fabián Lorenzini, the actual amount of the company’s debt will be known.
Through a resolution signed yesterday, Judge Lorenzini declared the preventive bankruptcy of Vicentin open, which has its legal domicile in the town of Avellaneda, north of the province of Santa Fe.
The contest was requested by the company itself on February 11, after trying without luck to make extrajudicial agreements with its suppliers.
The judge set March 11 as the date of the syndicate’s draw hearing; June 9 as a limit for credit verification; and ordered the general inhibition of assets of the agro-exporter, as established by the Bankruptcy and Bankruptcy Law (LQC).
According to the director of Banco Nación Argentina, Claudio Lozano, of the 1,350 million dollars owed by Vicentin, 350 million in foreign currency corresponds to loans from the national entity.
Last week, when invited by the Santa Fe Legislature, Lozano said that “we have to identify if what happened was simply irresponsibility in business management” or if there were “also criminal maneuvers”.
There he stated that “it is strange that he has arrived at the contest, it would be necessary to evaluate why, because frankly there is no justification for having reached this situation”.
In this line, he considered that “it is a company that has a business flow, a potential and sufficient assets to face the debt.”
“We are talking about someone who has 3,000 or 4,000 million dollars of annual turnover, is not an SME. We are not talking about the losers of the previous economic model, we are talking about the winners, ”said Lozano.
After the attempt to restructure his debt through out-of-court settlements, several Vicentin creditors filed for bankruptcy.
On February 11, after the judicial fair, the agro-export company itself requested its preventive bankruptcy, which was formally opened yesterday by Judge Lorenzini.