Zsolnay repays debt, requests end of liquidation

Deals

Bachar Najari, the majority owner Hungarian porcelain maker Zsolnay, on Wednesday repaid all of its debts owed to West Hungaria Bau, and asked the Zalaegerszeg court yesterday to immediately terminate a liquidation procedure against the company and to end the custodial oversight of Zsolnay, the company said in a statement late yesterday.

Najari, a Syrian businessman, said he paid the HUF 390 million to West Hungaria Bau, which had purchased the debts assets from their original owner, the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank. Najari last month said he had placed HUF 400m that 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, Hungarian news agency MTI reported. 

In the statement, Najari said he had spent more than HUF 500 million on saving the company in the last weeks and “it is regrettable that these funds were not used for the development of the company” or strengthening the prestige of the Zsolnay brand, MTI reported.

The war for the ownership of Zsolnay began in mid-April, when majority-owner Najari, who had partnered with Pécs in their historic porcelain factory, aired concerns of what he called a “hostile takeover”. By mid-June, Najari said his company had “come under attack by a group lobbying to take over business”.

On June 28, the local council of Pécs reportedly placed a lien on Zsolnayʼs bank account, while the registration of Ledina Kerámia, a firm established by the minority owner to take over operations, was temporarily suspended on Zsolnayʼs request.

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