12 October 2005 17:26 [Source: ICIS news]
PRAGUE (ICIS news)--Setuza has been hit by a government refusal to remove a long-term Koruna3bn ($121.7m/Euro101.5m) debt from its books, the Czech biodiesel additives supplier said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek accelerated a review of the debt owed to state bailout institution Ceska Konsolidacni Agentura (CKA) after claims that Setuza had become involved in the ongoing Unipetrol privatisation affair, a controversy which has harmed its rival, Czech agrochemicals maker Agrofert.
Setuza spokeswoman Marie Logrova said today that reports that the government, Setuza’s second largest shareholder behind Cesky Olej, had thrown out plans to assist with the debt appeared to be correct.
The former state-owned firm, already trying to recover from a 2004 record loss of Koruna700m, has denied any links to the Unipetrol affair. “If it is indeed the case that the government does not want to help us with this debt then Setuza feels harmed because of it being repeatedly connected to the Unipetrol case,” Logrova stated.
Setuza director Frantisek Janu told Czech daily newspaper Hospodarske noviny that the government’s “change of heart will not force our firm to the wall” and added that “everyone must make their own judgment” as to whether the government move was a retaliation with regard to the Unipetrol situation.
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