Auction for bankrupt ferry may be delayed

  • 2005-12-07
  • From wire reports
RIGA - The bankruptcy administrator of Rigas Juras Linijas (Riga Sea Lines), the insolvent shipping company, has asked a local court to put off the auction of the company's ferry, the Baltic Kristina.

A court representative said that the court had accepted the application made by administrator Janis Jurkans. The administrator is seeking a postponement in order to make sure that the organization of the auction will be in full compliance with the law.

Jurkans said that is was quite likely that the bailiff was acting in compliance, but he wanted "to eliminate any shadow of doubt" by turning to the court.

Court executor Ainars Susts plans to put the Baltic Kristina ferry up for the auction on Dec. 21 in order to recover the company's debt to Parex Bank, which financed the purchase of the ferry and holds a lien to the vessel.

The value of the ferry, built in 1973 in Finland, has been assessed at 2.5 million lats (3.6 million euros).

The Riga International Court of Arbitration on Oct. 10 satisfied the claim by Parex and ruled that the company should repay the $7.7 million loan.

The Baltic Kristina ferry stopped plying between Riga and Stockholm on Oct. 15, after which the court declared Riga Sea Lines as insolvent. The ferry operator has run up debts to the passenger terminal, fuel traders and its staff.

Riga Sea Lines was founded in early 2002 and bought the Baltic Kristina to service the maritime route between Riga and Stockholm.

The largest shareholders in the ferry company are the Riga City Council (35.48 percent), Astramar (27.51 percent) and the Riga Free Port administration (19.72 percent).