Petroplus Holdings AG : French Prosecutor Probes Insolvency Of Petroplus French Unit
01/26/2012| 10:42am US/Eastern
By Inti Landauro
A French prosecutor has launched an investigation into the insolvency filing by the local unit of Swiss-based refiner Petroplus Holdings AG (PPHN.EB).
The prosecutor started an investigation into whether there was irregular money flow, of about EUR100 million, out of the company's bank accounts prior to the filing for insolvency, a spokeswoman said Thursday in a telephone interview.
She said the French police's financial brigade is investigating and officers have already carried out searches at some Petroplus sites.
In an e-mailed statement, Petroplus Holdings refuted all allegations of fraudulent bankruptcy in France. The company said its French unit's bank accounts held EUR124 million and $59 million on Jan. 23, a day before the company filed for bankruptcy.
On Jan. 23, Deutsche Bank AG (DB), one of Petroplus's lenders under a revolving credit facility, transferred EUR122 million and $59 million of this cash out of these accounts as specified by the lending facility.
"No Petroplus legal entity provided any instructions or took any actions to transfer these funds from these French accounts," Petroplus said.
French and German courts have appointed administrators to handle the units of Petroplus after the Swiss-based refiner filed for protection from creditors after running out of cash, the company said earlier Thursday.
-By Inti Landauro and Konstantin Rozhnov, Dow Jones Newswires; +33 1 4017 1740; email@example.com