Belvédère execs in legal tussle over assets

Belvédère execs in legal tussle over assets

The chairman and CEO of French drinks group Belvédère, Jacques Rouvroy and Krzysztof Trylinski, appear to have lost a legal battle to prevent their assets being seized by two UK-based investment funds.

Earlier this week, an appeal court in Dijon ruled that the assets seizure can go ahead. The assets, which are based in France, include shares in Belvédère representing around 17% of its capital.

In March 2009, the High Court in London ordered Rouvroy and Trylinski to pay a total of around EUR15m (US$21m) to investment firms Maple Leaf Capital and Astin Capital. The amount relates to a “loan” agreement signed in July 2007, which enabled Rouvroy and Trylinski to acquire all shares in Belvédère held by CL Financial Holdings, and thus conserve control of the group.

“The appeal court’s judgement upholds the UK court’s verdict and is fully enforceable," Fabrice Marchisio, lawyer for Maple Leaf and Astin, told just-drinks today (24 March). "It’s now only a question of weeks before these assets are converted into paying off the debt,” he said.

A spokesperson for Belvédère could not be immediately reached for comment.