Terminals Fighting Receivership

NTF management claims that a receivership petition is based on a forged document.

Foto: CIN

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) Oil Terminals in Ploče wired to its account 1.3 million KM last Wednesday, which enabled it to continue operating. A day before, after Deltagrip’s petition, the Commercial Court of Dubrovnik handed down a ruling that called for looking into the possibility of starting a receivership proceedings against the Ploče-based company.

NTFs’ accounts were twice blocked during 2009, and it was saved from the receivership when the FBiH government paid a part of its debt.

In its petition Deltagrip stated that NTF was about to default on a 3.5 million loan from 2006, for which NTF was still due to pay 2.4 million KM. NTF rented out two warehouses to Deltagrip in 2006, and according to a contract, the British company was to use the money from its rent for installments to the loan.

Ibrahim Bećirbegović, director general of FBiH Terminali that had founded NTF, said that between August 2009 and March 2010, Deltagrip had been picking off a bigger chunk of monthly rent than it was agreed upon.

Vedran Perše, Deltagrip lawyer said that contrary to NTF’s claim, Deltagrip had never stopped paying the lease, and that the contract defined the amount of money that both companies could use to swap arrears.

NTF notified Deltagrip on two occasions that they had an obligation to pay the full amount of lease, but the latter one paid a smaller amount. This is why NTF management was of opinion that Deltagrip had broken the contract which Ploče company did not find it valid anymore.

In March, NTF offered its British partners a new contract with higher prices, but they refused it. After that, NTF forbade Deltagrip to trade with its oil, to which Deltagrip replied by freezing NTF’s accounts, demanding the rest of 1.3 million KM from the debt.

Meanwhile, Deltagrip came up with a new tally. According to the documents that they have filed with the Dubrovnik court, the amount of debt is twice as big.

Deltagrip said that NTF had presented it with an ultimatum when it asked for a 130 percent increase and the return into its fold of two warehouses, as well as a request for 713.500 KM. The last request was not explained, said Perše.

He added that NTF had no right to block the goods and that this dispute should have been handled in the court.

The management of FBiH Terminali in Sarajevo said that receivership was out of question because the fund’s from NTF’s account were released. Apart from this, A Zagreb attorney firm Grubeša & Partners which in this case represents NTF asked last Wednesday the court to close the case, saying that Deltagrip’s request was illegal.

The lawyers explained that a loan was taken from the company Deltagrip Limited, not from Deltagrip Trading which has requested the money. Even though both companies have been represented by the same people, according to Croatian Receivership Legislation, only a company with which NTF had signed the agreement can file a petition.

When Deltagrip Trading filed a receivership petition, it had submitted an annex to a Contract on the Lease as one piece of evidence. It was signed on July 5, 2007 by Josip Tomić, former NTF director. The annex set forth that Deltagrip Trading took over the claim to the loan from Detagrip Limited.

Ibrahim Bećirbegović said that this annex was not stamped by a notary and that it was not archived by NTF or any other court, and that there’s a possibility that it was signed right before the initiation of receivership proceedings.

NTF’s stamp found on the contract is no longer in use. Tomić allegedly illegaly took it with himself following his sacking in December 2009. The current NTF management reported the stealing of stamp to Croatian police.

NTF lawyers also added how there was no basis for Deltagrip’s petition because NTF was prepared to pay off the whole debt.

The NTF have officially told its client on several occasions, of which the last was on May 18, a day before the start of proceedings in Dubrovnik. In a fax to Deltagrip, NTF asked the British company to send them the exact amount of death and the number of it’s bank account.

Bećirbegović said that Deltagrip never answered. Instead, it filed a receivership petition.

Deltagrip’s lawyer confirmed the receival of NTF’s faxes, but the company didn’t want to give away its account. They wanted NTF to pay up the money on its own account, whereupon Deltagrip would confiscate it.

The court in Dubrovnik decided on a hearing date on the receivership petition for June 10.

‘Regardless of the fact that filing a petition was illegal, we will not allow for a smallest chance for opening a receivership’ said Bećirbegović.

‘Unfortunately, we have no other way to protect our interests’ said Perše.