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Bankrupt chemical firm should continue operations says Economy Minister

Although in bankruptcy, Novácke Chemické Závody (NCHZ), is showing vitality and should continue operations, said Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek following talks with NCHZ's bankruptcy trustee, Ján Súkenník, the firm’s management, creditors and trade unions in Nováky on October 26, the TASR newswire reported.

Although in bankruptcy, Novácke Chemické Závody (NCHZ), is showing vitality and should continue operations, said Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek following talks with NCHZ's bankruptcy trustee, Ján Súkenník, the firm’s management, creditors and trade unions in Nováky on October 26, the TASR newswire reported.

The minister said that NCHZ has shown good economic results over the first eight months of this year. If it didn’t need to deal with a €19.6 million fine levied by the European Commission for participating in a cartel it would have posted a profit of €1.5 million.

Jahnátek said that he found common ground with creditors and asked them for leniency, mainly in not asking for payments in advance for the services they provide. He assured the creditors that the government is drawing up an Act on Strategic Companies which will be tailor-made for NCHZ and will be a guarantee to creditors that they won't lose money.

Súkenník said that the situation in the firm with more than 1,700 employees has calmed down after he decided that the operations should continue, adding that an economic analysis shows that NCHZ is viable and is able to continue in production, with certain restrictions. The restrictions pertain to keeping certain measures in line with the Act on Bankruptcy and Restructuring.

Asked whether NCHZ will have to pay the fine it was given by the European Commission (EC) for participating in the cartel, Súkenník said that the current deadline for registering claims is November 23 and the EC hasn't yet submitted its claim. When asked about possible redundancies, he said that “no lay-offs will take place”. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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