The Slovenia Times

Helios Files Criminal Complaint over Business Secret Leak


"It is obvious that one or more persons have handed to the Slovenian media extensive documentation, owned by Helios, containing sensitive internal information," says Friday's press release from Helios, signed by CEO Aleš Klavžar.

The release say that the company, which was sold to the Austrian group Ring International last October, has suffered a blow to its business reputation, as the data from these documents "has already been abused".

"Individual sentences and part of the content of these documents were untruthfully presented out of an appropriate context in a report in the Dnevnik news show on the national television on 9 July," the release says.

With the publication of the documentation, confidential business information became available to the competition, which could cause a considerable damage to the company, Helios argues, adding that shareholders and employees could also feel the consequences.

TV Slovenija ran a report on Wednesday saying that the documents in question suggest that the acquisition of Helios by Ring International was dubious, and that the Austrian group tried to influence the governance of Helios even before the takeover.

Among other things, the documents suggest that Remho Beteiligungs, the coating division of the Vienna-based group Ring International Holding, transferred EUR 13m from Helios to its accounts already in April and May.

Helios explained the transfer by saying that it was about buying out small shareholders of Helios in Serbia and Croatia.

Trade unions have meanwhile called on the prosecution and police to take measures. "It needs to be established whether everything went in line with the law, whether the law was bypassed and on whose expense," ZSSS trade union confederation head Dušan Semolič told Dnevnik.

Outgoing Economy Minister Metod Dragonja, who met with the management of Helios on Tuesday, will announce his decision whether to file criminal complaints against members of the supervisory board and the new management of Helios next week, according to TV Slovenija.

Dragonja announced the possibility of criminal complaints at the end of June "after a series of actions that have put in peril the further development of the company and also caused damage to it".

The minister said that a strategy by which the company being taken over is made to take over the debt accumulated to fund its own takeover is "completely unacceptable in terms of its content".


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