Matt Atlas

Court Tosses Lawsuit Against NWR, Bakala Over Dividends

The Regional Court in Ostrava today rejected a joint lawsuit in which the mining company OKD (now OKD Receivables Administration) demanded more than CZK 24.5 billion from New World Resources NV (NWR) and entrepreneur Zdeněk Bakala. Among other things, for dividends paid, which they consider to have been unduly paid. According to the court, the dividend payments were in accordance with the law. The court spokeswoman, Veronika Ralevská, told CTK.

“The court concluded that all distributions, ie shares, and dividends, which were paid between 2006 and 2012 to the main shareholder, NWR, were made in accordance with the law. The level of equity at the time the performance was provided allowed the payment of dividends “Ralevska said. Thus, according to the court, OKD created all the reserves that it was supposed to create according to the legal regulation.

“Zdeněk Bakala is pleased that after five years of investigation, an independent court has concluded that NWR’s decisions on dividend payments, provisioning, and other financial transactions have always been in accordance with the law. We welcome today’s ruling to confirm the findings of a recently completed police and prosecutor’s office and that the court also rejected the allegations related to the OKD case as unfounded, “said Bakala’s spokeswoman Šárka Samková.

OKD filed a lawsuit in 2016 after the company went bankrupt. The company got into trouble due to falling coal prices and over-indebtedness. The company filed for insolvency, and creditors then filed claims for more than 23 billion crowns.

The company then underwent a reorganization. The mines and operating assets were invested in a new company, the owner of which became the state in 2018 through its company Prisko. It was later renamed OKD, while in the original OKD only receivables from former owners remained and its name was changed to OKD Receivables Management.

OKD is the only producer of hard coal in the Czech Republic. But mining is gradually coming to an end because it does not pay off. The company only mines in two shafts of the ČSM Mine in the Karviná region, where it is to be mined at least until the end of next year. More than 3,500 people work there.