November 15, 2018 / 8:43 PM / 25 days ago

Troubled Greek jeweller Folli Follie seeks protection from creditors

ATHENS (Reuters) - Troubled Greek jewellery maker Folli Follie has asked for protection from creditors in order to finalise a restructuring plan, it said in a statement on Thursday.

A woman walks past a Folli Follie store in central Athens, Greece, October 10 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

“The application for the granting of protective measures was submitted in order to secure the time frame needed to finalise the terms of the company’s restructuring plan,” it said.

“This interim protection is of great importance both for the

company and for all the financial stakeholders, as it will

provide the company with a stable platform and sufficient time

for the finalization of its restructuring.”

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.”

It said management was in the process of producing a revised business plan together with Deloitte for the total restructuring of its operations.

Follie plunged into trouble when hedge fund Quintessential Capital Management said in a May report that it had overstated the number of its outlets. It also questioned its accounting practices in Asia where the company had expanded rapidly.

That report sent Follie shares down sharply, led to a fine from 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.

Its shares have been suspended since May.

Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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