THE TRENČÍN Regional Court has upheld the verdict of a district court that the drill hole and the production hall of the Mitická mineral water firm do not belong to the company Trenčianske Minerálne Vody. According to the court, the immovable assets are instead the property of Minerál-Invod, the company which drilled the original bore in 1992. The court also assigned land plots to the company last year, the SITA newswire wrote.
Trenčianske Minerálne Vody intends to appeal the court’s verdict. The value of the Miticka mineral water brand is estimated to be many millions of euros.
According to the court’s verdict, the drill hole belongs to the original owner. The court stated that the fact that Minerál-Invod had ceased to exist for several years and that Trenčianske Minerálne Vody had invested large sums into Mitická mineral water does not mean that the original company had lost its ownership rights. The judge admitted that the judiciary had not had any experience of such a case in the past.
Minerál-Invod, along with the village of Trenčianske Mitice, started drilling in the 1990s. Subsequently, the company did not report any activities and asked to be deleted from the Commercial Register, as a result of which the company avoided repaying a bank loan used to finance the drilling works. The land plots, the drill hole and the hall were transferred to the local municipality. Trenčianske Mitice then sold the property to the company Slovenský Hodváb Senica. According to a lawyer of Minerál-Invod, the sale price was €133,000.
Several years later, Mitická was sold at almost one hundred times this price, for €13.28 million, to Trenčianske Minerálne Vody, which was then acquired by Slovintegra of Slavomír Hatina. At that point, Minerál-Invod, was reinscribed on the Commercial Register and the company filed a complaint to determine ownership rights. The court ruled in favour of Minerál-Invod on October 14. SITA
Compiled by Jana Liptáková from press reports
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15. Oct 2009 at 14:00