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Signa founder René Benko files for bankruptcy

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Signa founder René Benko files for bankruptcy

René Benko files for bankruptcy at the Innsbruck regional court. He is responding to a corresponding application from the Financial Procuratorate against him.

After the deep fall of his Signa empire, company founder René Benko is also in financial trouble. The entrepreneur filed an application for insolvency at the Innsbruck regional court on Thursday. Upon request, the Innsbruck regional court confirmed to the “Presse” that there is a self-application for insolvency by the entrepreneur René Benko, which still has to be decided. The “Kronen Zeitung” first reported on the matter. According to a spokeswoman for the Innsbruck Regional Court, the insolvency judge’s decision should be made either on Friday or at the beginning of next week.

However, the application submitted by Benko on Wednesday evening is not an application for insolvency as a private individual, but rather for insolvency of the sole proprietor René Benko. However, Benko is liable with his entire private assets for any liabilities arising from his activity as a sole proprietor. It is therefore somewhat unclear whether the current insolvency application also provides a clear statement about the state of Benko’s private finances.

René Benko is reacting to an insolvency application filed against him by the Finanzprokuratur as the lawyer for the Republic of Austria. On the one hand, this application by the Finanzprokurator is based, among other things, on the fact that the Tyrolean investor did not fully meet his obligation to make a deposit of three million euros in the holding company’s restructuring process. The third million of the amount flowed in tranches is said to have already come from a third party. There are also said to be outstanding financial claims against Benko. A sum of two million euros is rumored here.

But what is the logic behind responding to the financial prosecutor’s application with your own application? “Tactically, it could be that bankruptcy proceedings are averted and restructuring proceedings are opened,” says Gerhard Weinhofer from the creditor protection association Creditreform. Even with the Signa companies that had already slipped into insolvency, there was always an attempt to create a self-administered restructuring process if possible. However, Signa Holding’s self-administration has now been withdrawn. The two most important companies, Signa Prime and Signa Development, will make a decision in mid-March as to whether the restructuring plan will be accepted by the creditors.

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The insolvency meeting took place in mid-February

The insolvency opening meeting at the Innsbruck regional court took place in mid-February. The deadline for submitting further documents expired last Tuesday, so the insolvency court wanted to decide on the Finanzprokurator’s application in the next few days.

The closed hearing in mid-February lasted around an hour. Benko himself did not have to be present and did not appear. The situation and the financial situation should be discussed in the meeting. In any case, the Benko side would make a confession of assets, it was said in advance at the time. After the meeting, neither the court nor Benko’s representatives wanted to make a statement.

The credit protectors had previously expected that the decision on the insolvency application would take several weeks. (mad/jaz)

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