Easy Debt Service Candidates to Become Temporary Administrator of Lifosa

Easy Debt Service Candidates to Become Temporary Administrator of Lifosa
Easy Debt Service Candidates to Become Temporary Administrator of Lifosa

According to sources, the insolvency administrator Finance Guru together with the law firm Zeta law remained in the second place, the former diplomat, the head of Litpakas and the representative of the Indian company Flexituff Ventures International Ltd. in the Baltic States Petras Šimeliūnas together. with the law firm TGS Baltic.

The selection of candidates was organized and the final list of three candidates was submitted to the Ministry of Finance by the Management Coordination Center (NCC). However, both the Ministry and the NCC refuse to name the candidates on the grounds of avoiding possible speculation and not to publish them at the request of the participants until the end of the selection.

According to the data of the Center of Registers, the members of the Board of Easy Debt Service Audrius Milukas and Marius Svidinskas also serve on the Board of the financial services company SME Bank, and Vidas Danielius, the Director of the NCC, has been a member of the Supervisory Board since May last year. He has stated this in a declaration of public and private interests.

V. Danieliel BNS stated that his activities in the Supervisory Board of SME Bank do not automatically create a conflict of interest.

“The participation of individuals in the board of one company or another, in relation to the supervisory board, does not automatically create a conflict of interest,” Danielius said in a written comment to BNS, refusing to comment on the situation by telephone.

He emphasized that the candidates for the Lifosa administrator were not selected by him, but by a commission formed by the NCC. According to BNS, only VKC employees worked there.

“The decision on submitting the list of potential candidates to the Ministry of Finance was made by the selection commission formed by the NCC, and not by the director,” said V. Danieliel.

Easy Debt Service and SME Bank are also linked through shareholders, both of which are AKM Finance and Magnus Investment (they also have a third shareholder each) and are owned by Kamilė Milukė and Marius. Svidinskas.

Rasa Butkuvienė, the head of Easy Debt Service, was on holiday last week, and the company did not answer the written questions submitted to BNS.

The Ministry of Finance, which will appoint a temporary administrator of the company, points out that all applicants are still being evaluated by the special services – only after receiving their conclusions, a proposal will be submitted to the Minister.

“After receiving the conclusions of the special services on the results of the inspection, the commission will make a decision and submit a proposal to the Minister of Finance, and then promptly try to sign a contract with the temporary administrator,” said Gediminas Norkūnas, Deputy Minister of Finance.

The ministry previously informed BNS that a decision on a temporary administrator is expected to be made this week.

The order of the Minister of Finance establishing the selection procedure was published on April 29 (Friday) and the announcement of the NCC was published in the afternoon of the same day. The documents for the selection had to be submitted by the end of the working day on May 2 (Tuesday). On May 4, the three selected bidders had already been submitted to the Ministry of Finance.

The selection criteria set out in the notice are equality, transparency, proportionality, reasonableness, confidentiality and impartiality. It specifies the preliminary functions of the administrator: performs the functions of the manager and the board – operational activities, restores the suspended activities of the company, supervises the observance of sanctions – reviews the agreements, and terminates them upon identification of related persons.

Some market participants note that the advertisement did not contain any usual qualification or at least similar criteria in tenders and procurements, such as experience in managing a similar production plant, economic education, competence to assemble a team, which allowed participants to submit essentially incomparable bids.

However, according to a source in the Government, there are not many companies in Lithuania suitable for such work, and the fact that there was no need for such administration in the country before may complicate or cause doubts.

The opportunity to appoint a temporary administrator of Lifosa arose after the April 27 amendments to the Law on the Implementation of Economic and Other International Sanctions, adopted by the Seimas in response to the sanctions imposed on Russia and Belarus following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, entered into force.

They shall provide for the appointment of a temporary administrator for a period of one year, which may be extended or reduced in exceptional cases.

After the EU announced sanctions on Russian oligarch Andrei Melnichenko close to the Kremlin on March 9, Lifosa’s accounts were frozen and the company was suspended on April 10.

Earlier, Lifantas CEO Rimantas Proscevičius told BNS that the company had prepared a plan to produce diammonium phosphate and monocalcium phosphate fertilizers under the supervision of an administrator, in which case 500-600 employees would be needed, which could be gradually increased.

The majority of employees are currently in forced downtime, Vitalijus Varnas, chairman of Lifosa’s independent union, told BNS last week.

100 percent Lifosa is owned by the Swiss-registered EuroChem Group, which holds 90% of the shares. belongs to AIM Capital, a Cypriot company owned by A. Melnichenko. EuroChem Group announced on March 10 that Meličenko had resigned from its board of directors on March 9 and was no longer the main beneficiary of the group.

The article is in Latvian

Tags: Easy Debt Service Candidates Temporary Administrator Lifosa