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Marques de Olivara files for bankruptcy

Toro winery Marques de Olivara, part of the Nueva Rumasa group, has filed for bankruptcy.

Nueva Rumasa, owner of 15 food and drink companies, has been in crisis since February this year when ten of the group’s largest companies were declared insolvent, resulting in withdrawal of credit facilities.

At the time, market analysts put the group’s debt at €700m, although chief executive José-María Ruiz Mateos claimed that group assets amounted to €6bn. The companies concerned included bodegas, hotels, food and drink manufacturers and also Rayo Vallecano football club in Madrid.

Marqués de Olivara‘s debt may seem small beer by comparison, at €2.7m, and the company claimed that it had assets worth €5m. However, the court in Valladolid heard that current assets are only €2m.

Ruiz Mateos’ previous company, Rumasa, was taken into public ownership in 1983 amid allegations of ‘creative accounting’, inflating the value of the group’s stock and other assets.

Ruiz Mateos is still pursuing a case for compensation for the 1983 expropriation, which he claims was politically motivated by the socialist government of Felipe González.

He stepped down from management, however, in June, 2011, leaving the group in the hands of his six children. He has vowed to recoup the assets and compensate the group’s debtors and investors. Financial commentators in Spain are sceptical.

Marques de Olivara produces highly-thought of Tempranillos overseen by Bordeaux consultant Pascal Chatonnet.

Written by John Radford

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