November 19, 2018 / 9:52 AM / 24 days ago

Greek court rejects Folli's request for protection from creditors

ATHENS, Nov 19 (Reuters) - A Greek court has rejected a request by Greek jewelry maker Folli Follie for temporary protection from its creditors before it completes a restructuring plan, a judicial source said on Monday.

Folli, whose shares have been suspended since May, said last week that management was producing a revised business plan together with Deloitte for restructuring its operations.

Securing interim protection would mitigate the risk of a large number of job losses in Greece and abroad, Follie said, adding it had “strong support of over 50 percent of its unsecured creditors.” Folli employs about 5,000 people worldwide.

The company declined to comment on the court decision.

Folli’s shares plunged in May after equity fund Quintessential Capital Management (QCM) issued a report saying the company had overstated the number of retail outlets it operates worldwide and raised concerns over its reported finances. It also questioned its accounting practices in Asia where the company had expanded rapidly.

That report led to a fine by the Greek securities commission and an investigation and the resignation of its founders, Dimitris Koutsolioutsos and Ekaterini Koutsolioutsou, in September, after a preliminary audit revealed wide discrepancies in 2017 financial statements. (Reporting by Constantinos Georgizas; Additional reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Writing by Renee Maltezou)

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