11 Aug 2009 18:41

Protek files bankruptcy claims against Pharmacy Chain 36.6

MOSCOW. Aug 11 (Interfax) - Russian pharmaceutical distributor OJSC CV Protek filed bankruptcy claims against TDE Pharmatsiya LLC, which is part of Pharmacy Chain 36.6, with the Nizhny Novgorod regional arbitration court on August 4.

Meanwhile, Pharmacy Chain 36.6 has responded with a statement saying Protek has no legal grounds for filing bankruptcy claims.

Protek said an order of enforcement was served on TDE Pharmatsiya in February 2009 and the claims have yet to be settled. The Nizhny Novgorod court told Interfax that hearings in the case would begin on September 8.

"Similar situations have been seen with other legal entities that are part of Pharmacy Chain 36.6. They have had more than 30 enforcement orders served that remain unfulfilled and the sum totals several million [rubles] for some of them," Protek said in a statement.

In the near future, Protek plans to file bankruptcy claims against Pharmacies 36.6 Center LLC, Pharmacies 36.6 Northwest LLC, Pos Holding LLC, Meditek LLC in addition to companies being set up as part of the chain's reorganization - Pharmacies 36.6 Volgograd LLC, Pharmacies 36.6 Western Siberia LLC, Pharmacies 36.6 Krasnodar LLC, Pharmacies 36.6 Rostov LLC and Pharmacies 36.6 Nizhny Novgorod LLC. Protek claims the chain owes it about 300 million rubles.

Protek general director Alexei Molchanov said the distributor "was compelled to take extreme measures to resolve the issue of recovering debt from Pharmacy Chain 36.6 since the holding hasn't received funds for goods delivered for more than a year."

"I want to stress that Protek has paid producers in full for goods shipped to Pharmacy Chain 36.6. Despite the fact that we haven't been sending supplies to this chain for about a year, there haven't been any losses in our turnover (the chain accounted for about 3% of our sales). We were able to fully compensate for the shipments via other clients," he is quoted as saying in the statement.

As of early 2009, Pharmacy Chain 36.6 owed Protek about 730 million rubles. Protek has filed more than 140 lawsuits seeking the recovery of debt from organizations that are part of the chain. Some 400 million rubles were repaid by mutual settlements with Veropharm .

At present, arbitration courts have heard more than half of the lawsuits filed and ruled Protek's claims must be met. Despite this, pharmacy organizations that are part of the chain are not voluntarily paying their debt. These organizations are asking courts for deferments of several years on the rulings, citing the chain's massive accounts payable and difficult financing standing. Protek said the courts have not been granting the chain's requests.

"The situation is made even more complicated by the fact that Pharmacy Chain 36.6 is reorganizing its regional companies by merging them into a single regional chain, which has led to delays in cases being considered by arbitration courts," the statement says.

Pharmacy Chain 36.6 said in response to the claims: "CV Protek has no legal grounds for filing bankruptcy against any company that is part of Pharmacy Chain 36.6. All the enforcement orders Protek has served for payment were repaid on time in accordance with existing legislation. As of August 11, 2009, Pharmacy Chain 36.6 did not have a single overdue payment for the enforcement orders it received."

Protek filed a suit seeking to recover 234.848 million rubles in debt from TDE Pharmatsiya, but this company ceased to exist in July 2009 as a result of reorganization, the chain said. Protek can file claims against the successor to the company, Pharmacies 36.6 Nizhny Novgorod LLC, and the claims will be met, the chain said.

"Pharmacy Chain 36.6 is always respectful of its partners and has proposed various ways for restructuring the debt on several occasions during talks with CV Protek. However, CV Protek has refused to resolve the disputes outside of court and has filed lawsuits. Despite the complicated economic situation, Pharmacy Chain 36.6 has repaid about 500 million rubles in debt to CV Protek since the start of 2009. The remaining accounts payable will be repaid before the end of this year on the basis of enforcement orders served and in the legally established process," the chain said.