PRAGUE Jan 24 The future of Orco Property Group
is uncertain and liquidation of the indebted
real estate developer is a possibility, its largest shareholder
was quoted as saying by news agency CTK on Friday.
Czech investor Radovan Vitek also said in an interview with
the main Czech news agency that, since his investment, several
items have appeared in the central European developer's books
that could cut the company's value by tens of millions of euros.
An Orco spokeswoman had no comment.
Shares in Orco, which have dropped 30 percent in the past
year, fell more than 7 percent on the Prague bourse on Friday.
Orco shareholders voted this month to remove board members
representing two U.S. funds that have battled over strategy with
Vitek, increasing his influence at the company that was hit hard
by the global financial crisis.
Vitek, who owns 30.7 percent of Orco, wrote in an open
letter to shareholders in December that it needed immediate
funding of at least 100 million euros to cover debts and
Vitek, a major investor in Czech real estate through his
company CPI, has built up his shares in Orco since 2012.
The company, founded in 1991, has properties in the Czech
Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany and Poland, including the
192-metre tall Zlota 44 residential tower in Warsaw.
Its founder and Chief Executive, Jean-Francois Ott, still
holds nearly 10 percent of the company.
Orco reported a 142 million euro net loss for the first nine
months of 2013 after taking impairment charges on some projects.
(Reporting by Jason Hovet; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)