On May 24, 2016, the Amtsgericht Kleve (Local Court of Kleve) initiated regular insolvency proceedings in relation to Agrofinanz GmbH on account of insolvency and over-indebtedness (Az.: 32 IN 95/15).
GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London conclude: At the end of last year, the company Agrofinanz GmbH based in Kleve in North Rhine-Westphalia filed for insolvency. Less than five months later, regular insolvency proceedings have now been opened. The investors are now facing large financial losses and have very little time to lodge their claims with the insolvency administrator. The claims need to be filed in due time and in the proper form by June 21, 2016. Only claims that have been filed can be taken into account for the purposes of the insolvency proceedings. The next creditors’ meeting has been set for July 12, 2016.
Lawyers who are competent in the fields of banking and capital markets law can assist the investors in filing their claims. Moreover, they are also able to assess further legal options, as the insolvency estate is not usually sufficient to satisfy the claims of all of the creditors. Because this means that the investors are likely to be faced with losses, it is also possible to review claims for damages.
Agrofinanz GmbH offered to put investors’ money into oil palms and cocoa trees in Ecuador. The company not only committed to making regular distribution payments, but also promised to buy back the shares at a fixed price. According to the financial supervisory authority known as BaFin (Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht) [Federal Financial Supervisory Authority], the company was accepting money on a commercial basis pursuant to what are termed “Kauf-, Miet- und Rückkaufverträge” [purchase, rental and buy-back contracts] and promising unconditional repayment without the required authorization for this kind of deposit business. The BaFin therefore ordered the settlement and repayment of the funds. However, this did not happen because of the insolvency.
Due to the fact that Agrofinanz GmbH ran its deposit business without the necessary authorization from BaFin, it is very likely that the Kreditwesengesetz [German Banking Act] has been infringed and those with corporate responsibility for the company are personally liable. It is also possible for erroneous information in issuing prospectuses to have given rise to claims. Furthermore, the investors ought to have been made fully aware of the risks associated with this capital investment during the course of advisory consultations.
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