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Zsolnay liquidation spared, war seen to end

Competition

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A court in Zalaegerszeg has terminated a liquidation procedure brought against Hungarian porcelain maker Zsolnay, a decision which may yet be appealed, although Imre Bodnár, Zsolnayʼs legal counsel, believes it would be “difficult to refute,” Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

“[Zsolnayʼs] insolvency cannot be established and a liquidation may not be ordered on the basis of the request,” the court said, according to a statement released by the company. 

Bachar Najari, the majority owner of Zsolnay, last week said he repaid all of its debts owed to West Hungária Bau, and asked the Zalaegerszeg court to immediately terminate a liquidation procedure against the company and to end the custodial oversight of Zsolnay.

The court established that the mandatory 20-day period between the deadline for making the payment and the submission of the liquidation request had not expired, Zsolnay said, according to MTI. The courtʼs decision “puts an end to the organized theft of the factory with the involvement of politicians and businessmen,” Zsolnayʼs statement added, according to the news agency.

Najari said last week he had spent more than HUF 500 million on saving the company in recent 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 at Zsolnayʼs request.

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