Hellas Communications

Pre-pack Sale


The company was a Luxembourg based holding/finance company for a Greek Telecom operating company. The company’s Centre of Main Interests (COMI) was relocated from Luxembourg to the UK in August 2009 as part of a restructuring exercise.

Background 

The company was a Luxembourg based holding/finance company for a Greek Telecom operating company. The company’s Centre of Main Interests (COMI) was relocated from Luxembourg to the UK in August 2009 as part of a restructuring exercise.

Issue

The company was placed into Administration in November 2009 when a pre-pack disposal was completed of the business and assets of the operating subsidiary were affected. This involved rolling over around €1.9 billion of senior debt issued by other group companies, to a “Newco.” However, this still left a further €1.2 billion of subordinated bondholders’ capital plus interest unpaid.

This case has been referred to as the largest “pre-pack” in European history.

Outcome

We quickly identified a post-petition VAT refund as a means of funding the initial stage of litigation. 

With close liaison between our restructuring investigations team, the forensics team, our VAT expert, and involving notarised affidavits from non-UK based professionals, the liquidators were able to procure a UK VAT registration for the company. Previously neither the company itself prior to administration, nor the subsequent administrator, and their legal advisers, had been able to achieve this.

We negotiated a seven-figure VAT refund and have ensured litigation is being progressed in a number of jurisdictions.

The case is ongoing.
 


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