Former Adria executives accused over airline’s collapse


The Specialised Prosecutor’s office has asked a Ljubljana court to formally open an investigation against the former German owners and management of Adria Airways for financial misdeeds that allegedly led to the Slovenian flag carrier’s collapse in October 2019. Those named as suspects are former Adria Airways CEO Arno Schuster, who managed the airline between 2016 and 2018, Adria Airways' last CEO Holger Kowarsch , the company’s Financial Advisor between March 2016 and December 2017, Klaus Platzer, as well as Eggo Laukamp, who was the airline’s Procurement Manager between 2014 and 2018. The prosecution has found evidence that the four of them illegally obtained 3.5 million euros by financially depleting Adria. Following the completion of the judicial investigation, the prosecution will decide whether to file charges against the suspects.

Adria’s bankruptcy administrator, Janez Pustatičnik, said it would make sense to file a lawsuit against Adria’s German-led management team, which oversaw its collapse. Prosecutors have noted that tracing the missing millions has been difficult as 4K Invest began shutting down companies linked to Adria through which the funds were funnelled. The turnaround fund had companies registered in Germany, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, and Malta. However, shortly after Adria declared bankruptcy, 4K began erasing links to its other businesses by shutting them down.

Adria Airways’ bankruptcy has led creditors to file 151 million euros in claims against the company with only 87.7 million euros in claims approved. Among them, the largest claim value, at 6.6 million euros, has been made by Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines. The two carriers wet-leased Adria’s aircraft. Jet owner AeroCentury has four million euros in claims, while the Rolls Royce Corporation has 2.2 million. Former Adria Airways staff are demanding a total of 15.5 million euros in unpaid wages, to be split among 500 employees. Mr Kowarsch himself has 67.600 euros in claims, while the carrier’s former Managing Director, Sven Kukemelk, is claiming 47.700 euros. Other claimants include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, EIC Aircraft Leasing, Sasof III Aviation Ireland, 8900973 Canada, Ljubljana Airport operator Fraport Slovenija and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank. The administrator is hoping to raise the finances through the sale of Adria Airways’ remaining assets, however, just 85.500 euros have been raised so far.


Comments

  1. Anonymous10:10

    A reminder to do some due diligence before selling company to anyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:25

      Do you believe that some people in the government didn't know what was going on in the background?

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:28

      Well I certainly hope they didn't sell it to 4K on purpose so they could bankrupt it.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:45

      Not much due diligence was needed. Everyone knew they had no experience in the aviation industry. They said so themselves.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous10:55

      I believe the rationale at the time was since no buyers were lining up, the government just wanted to get rid of the loser Adria to whoever showed some interest in it.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous11:27

      The government at that time just didn't want the bankruptcy to be on their hands, as it would happen even earlier than with 4K.

      Delete
    6. Anonymous13:46

      @10:55

      Ammm, you do realize that we PAID 4K to takr over Adria?

      Cmerar, Black Mamba and Serpentinsek knew exactly what they were doing.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous14:00

      That's only because it was in such great state before the sale, nobody wanted to buy it for even for €1.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous19:09

      Hmm, last time I checked, "investing" 3 million in an asset known to go bankrupt is 3 million euro more expensive than liquidating the company altogether. But, anon 14:00, you probably know better.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous20:28

      It definitely is, but then it would be the government in charge when the company went bust.

      In this way, 3m of taxpayers money was used for someone else do to the job for them.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous10:44

      @20:28:

      Exactly. I wonder if there was some commission paid to the government officials for liquidating the company on their behalf. It would be interesting to have a word with Cerar/Bratusek/Sarec.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous10:25

    Let's be realistic,  Adria would have gone bankrupt with our without 4K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:38

      It was in much better shape before 4k.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:54

      Yes, Adria wasn't save when sold to 4k, if 4k would save it. Than adria would be still alive.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous11:05

      Had Adria survived until corona, the government would now certainly give them bail out money.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:29

      "It was in much better shape before 4k."

      They were nearly bankrupt for many times, including before the sale to 4K,when the government had to inject 3m EUR to keep the lights on. Otherwise it would have gone bankrupt right there and then.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous10:26

    I find it hilarious that these executives actually asked for money to be paid to them when the company went bankrupt.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous10:26

    Crooks

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous10:27

    Waiting for the political accountability from those who sold Adria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:29

      +100

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:43

      Alenka Bratusek should be held responsible for selling the company to these scammers.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:54

      Agree. Political responsibility must be investigated as well.

      Delete
    4. Anonymous11:30

      If Adria wasn't sold, if would have gone bust even earlier without further state aid.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous10:27

    Good I hope they get prosecuted.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous10:29

    Chances of those Adria employees ever seeing their wages paid are slim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:31

      Yes unfortunately

      Delete
    2. Anonymous10:37

      Considering how little has been raised from the asset sales, no chance.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous10:43

      Workers in Slovenia are protected in the event of bankruptcy, they are not left without everything. In the event of the company's bankruptcy, the Slovenian state protects the rights of employees by paying off some of their receivables relating to unpaid wages. The Guarantee Fund paid out 1,800,000 euros to 468 former Adria Airways employees, who received the payments within a month of terminating their employment.

      Delete
  8. Anonymous10:29

    I bet it's much more than 3.5 million.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous10:30

    In the end nothing will come out of this.
    These are just political games but in the end governments don't want prosecutors to do their job to the full extent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JU520 BEGLAX10:32

      Mock trial...

      Delete
  10. Anonymous10:31

    And what would happen if they were found guilty? They would go to jail?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous10:37

    What a sad end

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:09

      It's so sad what happened with this company. And for an airline with such history to end in such a way, being destroyed by some petty German scammers. Sad.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11:25

      Such a shame Adria was sold to them. Maybe things would have been different had it not.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous10:39

    germans are guilty for Adrias bankruptcy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous11:31

      Yes, 4K turned a highly profitable airline with ton of assets into a bankrupt one.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous10:46

    I'm surprised this hasn't turned into a bigger political scandal. In some countries governments would collapse over making deals with such thieves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous20:32

      Not in Slovenia. All the wrongdoings by the leftist parties are unsanctioned.

      Delete
  14. Anonymous10:48

    Why don't they also go after the management that was there during government ownership? They are the ones that ran up most of the debt.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous10:48

    It was about time.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:50

    Can't wait to see those responsible answer for their actions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous10:52

      I wouldn’t bet they will with the state of Slovenia’s judicial system.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous10:50

    Justice will be served sooner or later.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous10:54

    They should also investigate the people who thought it was a good idea to sell Adria to these clowns who had nothing but bankruptcies to show in their portfolio.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:17

      The only alternative was bankruptcy before the sale.

      Delete
  19. Anonymous10:56

    Hopefully they'll identify all the murky things that have been done and someone is finally held responsible.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous11:06

    Adria is needed now more than ever.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous11:07

    Can't wait to finally see someone jailed for what happened at Adria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:16

      Good luck. The court cases will become obsolete way before anyone is convicted and appeals are processed.

      Delete
  22. Anonymous11:08

    Hoping some of the 4K fraudsters will come to Slovenia to face the music.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:03

      Hope dies last.

      Delete
  23. Anonymous11:28

    good luck finding a single Euro or any of these crooks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:04

      Exactly. They are all long gone from Germany.

      Delete
  24. Anonymous12:02

    Fantastic result of a privatization process. Congratulations to all sides involved.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous12:09

    And Slovenian Government and polititians?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous14:02

    What fascinates me is the fact, that at every airline has appointed accountable people, that oversee airlines activities.

    Ass of now none of them are being held responsible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous15:16

      Who do you want to hold to account? Ground operations postholder, safety manager,...?

      There's an enormous difference between persons nominated which are responsible for the safety of the operations and persons legally accountable as to the financials of the company.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous21:28

      Chief executive officer, Chief financial officer, Chief accountable manager, Compliance and safety manager.

      Do you really think that not paying handlers, fuel suppliers and spare parts providers has no effect on the safty of operations ?

      All accountable staff had to report the airline status to CAA. Because of this they had access to up to date finantial data.

      Ignorance or incompetence is no excuse that would exclude you form responsibility.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous08:17

      CAA was fully aware of the financial status, remember how they said Adria was technically insolvent months ago, yet they were allowed to keep the AOC, because they didn't want to be the ones to pull the plug.

      Also, safety manager isn't a decision maker, their role is more of an advisor to the board. The accountable manager is the one accountable (as the name says) to ensure the airline is properly funded to ensure safe operations.

      Anyway, but since nobody was hurt and the airline is now out of business, there is no more safety risks, so ultimately it doesn't matter.

      Accountability under financial law is a completely different thing, and this is what the article is about.

      Delete
  27. Anonymous18:08

    What happened to the Estonian guy? Wasn't he also part of the mafioso junta?
    Poor, JP. Slovenia needs a flag carrier or some LCC base.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Anonymous00:49

    The people (state appointed) who ran Adria before 4K are the ones who should be on trial - lazy socialist negligent people who didn't care about whether the airline was run profitably or not, and lucky enough that the 'fruits of their labour' was sold onto another company who had no chance to save it. Thank god it's dead- Slovenian government has saved 10's of millions of Euro's during this pandemic much better spent on health and other budget saving items then some planes flying empty for the sake of 'connectivity'. Slovenia dodged a bullet.

    ReplyDelete

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