Home » Benko creditors have filed claims for two billion euros

Benko creditors have filed claims for two billion euros

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Benko creditors have filed claims for two billion euros

ABD0061_20141211 – VIENNA – AUSTRIA: Real estate investor Rene Benko on Thursday, December 11, 2014, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Bank Austria headquarters on the Austria Campus in Vienna. – PHOTO: APA/HANS KLAUS TECHT – 20141211_PD1451 picture alliance / HANS KLAUS TECHT / APA / picturedesk.com | HANS KLAUS TECH

Creditors of Signa founder René Benko have filed claims against him of around two billion euros. The insolvency administrator has so far only recognized around 47 million of the claims, mainly from Benko’s family foundation and Signa Holding. Benko will appear on May 22nd before a parliamentary investigative committee investigating the ÖVP’s alleged favoritism towards large business owners.

Creditors of Signa founder René Benko have registered around two billion euros in claims against him. This was reported by creditor protection associations after a court hearing as part of Benko’s insolvency proceedings, at which the Austrian real estate and trading entrepreneur appeared in Innsbruck on Wednesday.

According to the creditor protection association KSV1870, a large part of the claims come from creditors of Signa sub-companies. They therefore want hundreds of millions of euros from the 46-year-old ex-billionaire. Their reasoning: Although the investor has not held any official functions in the companies for years, he has still made important decisions.

The insolvency administrator has so far only recognized around 47 million of the claims. They come mainly from Benko’s family foundation and Signa Holding, both of which are also insolvent. According to the Creditreform association, the tax office has registered tax arrears of 8 million euros. Rejected creditors can now fight for their money in civil proceedings.

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As KSV1870 reported, it turned out at the court in Innsbruck that Benko not only earned between 200,000 and 300,000 euros annually as a “consultant” for Signa companies, but in recent years he also earned double-digit millions in loans from the Signa Group had received.

Benko remained silent to the media present in court on Wednesday. On May 22nd he will have the opportunity to comment publicly for the first time on the wave of insolvencies at the Signa companies. On that day, Benko will appear as a witness before a parliamentary investigative committee, his lawyer told the German Press Agency. The committee is taking a close look at the alleged preferential treatment of large business owners like Benko by the conservative ÖVP chancellor party.

The real estate and trading group expanded significantly during the low interest rate phase and built up a portfolio that includes the Elbtower in Hamburg, the luxury department store KaDeWe and the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department store chain. With the rise in interest rates, construction costs and energy prices, Benko’s company structure collapsed.

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