Kruuda doesn’t agree with suspicions, says Tere likely to sell production facility (1)

Oliver Kruuda (Postimees/Scanpix)
8/19/2016 9:50 AM
Category: Business

Businessman and owner of Tere AS, Oliver Kruuda, said in an interview with ERR’s TV news on Thursday that he didn’t agree with the suspicions raised against him, but that Tere would likely need to be broken up. Kruuda had been arrested earlier this week on suspicions of tax fraud.

Kruuda said in the interview that there were different interpretations of the situation rather than a tax fraud case. He doesn’t see a reason why Tere AS should file for bankruptcy, but instead said that the company would be reorganized.

Tere was operating at a profit, and the company worked well, Kruuda said. It couldn’t be anyone’s objective here to declare the company bankrupt, and instead of finding a solution that worked for everybody simply make sure that only the banks got their claims met, he added.

Asked about his creditors demanding the liquidation of Tere, Kruuda said that there was a small group of them who was abusing the situation of the company and trying to push it in a direction that fit their own business interests.

Kruuda repeatedly said that it wasn’t in anyone’s interest to declare Tere AS bankrupt at this point. Asked about what his company still owed the milk producers, with a lot of them currently facing a tough market with record-low prices, Kruuda said that it was all part of the current reorganization plan of the company. The same applied for the money Tere owes the Tax Board, Kruuda added.

The company owes the Tax and Customs board some €1.2m.

Kruuda pointed to Tere’s export partnerships, saying that they made the situation more complex, and that the current issues included the need to take into account the cooperation with international partners.

Saying that he didn’t want to “swim against the current all the time”, Kruuda announced that Tere would likely sell one of its production facilities, to “end this whole process right away”.

Kruuda had been taken in for questioning on Tuesday together with other employees of Tere AS. Their workplaces and homes were searched, and the North district prosecutor’s office announced that it was investigating Kruuda for VAT and social tax fraud.

Tere’s largest creditors, the banks Nordea and DNB, demanded earlier this week that the company be liquidated. One of Tere’s biggest competitors, Maag Grupp, would like to buy the company. Tere owes the banks €53.5m, and some €13m to its suppliers.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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