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Eurostar Diamond Traders Close to Bankruptcy

Antwerp court rejects manufacturer’s reorganization attempt.
Mar 12, 2019 11:46 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Eurostar Diamond Traders could be forced to file for bankruptcy soon, after a Belgian court rejected its reorganization plan.

The large Antwerp-based manufacturer, which owes an estimated $500 million, is no longer considered a financially viable business after losing its De Beers sight, Belgian newspaper De Tijd reported Saturday.

The Antwerp Court of Appeal turned down its request for protection from creditors on February 28, as it questioned some of the financial data the company had presented, Alain Van den Cloot, Eurostar’s court-appointed administrator, confirmed to Rapaport News. The Antwerp Corporate Court will decide by early April whether to force it into bankruptcy, he added.

The company admitted in November that its diamond stocks were only worth $25 million, despite valuing them at EUR 132 million ($148.8 million) in September, according to the report in De Tijd. Eurostar’s current sources of income are highly restricted, and its auditor has rejected its 2017 accounts, according to Van den Cloot. A judgment in favor of bankruptcy is “expected, but not yet pronounced,” he predicted.

“Eurostar has lost the trust of its most important creditors — ABN Amro, Standard Chartered, KBC Bank and Bank of India — and is indebted to them for huge sums of money,” the court judgment said, according to De Tijd.

Eurostar didn’t respond to requests for comment, but told De Tijd it was talking to other lenders and creditors with a view to continuing its operations.

ABN Amro, Standard Chartered and KBC Bank declined to comment. Attempts to contact Bank of India were not successful.

Image: A polished diamond under inspection. (Shutterstock)
Tags: ABN Amro, Antwerp, Antwerp Corporate Court, Antwerp Court of Appeal, Bank of India, bankruptcy, Eurostar, Eurostar Diamond Traders, KBC Bank, Rapaport News, Standard Chartered
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