September 10, 2018 / 12:50 PM / a year ago

Creditors seek to end Folli asset protection to recoup loans

ATHENS, Sept 10 (Reuters) - A group of Folli Follie’s creditors are calling for an injunction protecting the Greek jewellery maker’s assets to be lifted, saying they are due 44.5 million euros ($51.5 million).

Greek authorities opened an investigation into Folli earlier this year after equity fund Quintessential Capital Management (QCM) alleged the company had overstated the number of retail outlets it operates worldwide, raising concerns over its reported finances.

Folli’s shares plunged in May after the QCM report, prompting the Greek securities regulator to suspend trading on the shares on May 25 after the firm failed to provide requested financial data.

Folli, which employs about 5,000 people, has obtained a temporary court injunction to protect its assets.

But ahead of a court hearing set for Sept. 12, Alpha Bank, National Bank, Eurobank and Piraeus declared loans totalling about 44.5 million euros to Folli “immediately due and payable,” Folli said in a bourse filing on Monday.

The banks have asked the court to dismiss the company’s pending asset protection application and reject extending the temporary court injunction, it said.

Folli said it would immediately start discussions with its creditors to find “arrangements” so the banks could support it at the court hearing later this week.

Last week Folli pushed back its annual shareholders meeting, due on Oct 10, saying it expected the conclusion of a financial audit by then.

$1 = 0.8643 euros Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Mark Potter

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