This afternoon the Bank issued a company announcement to update the market on the latest developments regarding the Deiulemar court case. The Bank is a defendant in an action - being pursued in Torre Annunziata, Italy - by the curators of the bankruptcy estate of the Deiulemar Group. In the action, the curators are claiming the shares, or the value of shares, that had been put in trust with the Bank in 2009.
In March of this year, the court in Torre Annunziata granted the curators security for their claim, through a precautionary warrant (sequestro conservativo) for €363 million. In effect, this meant that the Bank was required to provide security for the said amount.
The Bank had entered an appeal against the order, which was turned down yesterday.
After the order was issued in March 2018, the Bank had placed in excess of €363m in the hands of an independent entity, an Italian bank. The funds remain Bank funds but will, unless the situation changes, have to be held by the independent entity, by way of precautionary security, until the case on the merits is finally decided. At that point the funds will be released, in whole or in part, either to BOV or to the claimants, depending on the court’s final decision.
By way of background, the allegation against the Bank is that the value of the assets placed in trust was €363 million, and that BOV should return those assets or that value. The Bank rejects the assertion as unfounded on the grounds that the assets placed in trust were practically worthless. The assets in question were shares in the ultimate holding company of the Deiulemar Group, which was eventually declared bankrupt. The Bank held no other assets on behalf of the Group whatsoever.
Meanwhile, the Bank is taking all the necessary measures and precautions to defend its interests and will continue with business as usual. We conclude by reiterating that this case will in no way impact the depositors, customers and employees of the Bank.