With a rich history of over 130 years, Romania’s Aversa, one of Central and Eastern Europe’s leading manufacturers of pumps, is closed, Canadian businessman Michael Topolinski, factory owner, announced, according to a press release.
“As a result of the corrupt actions of Authority of Valuation of the State Assets (AAAS), I was forced to stop production at the factory last year and to lay off 200 employees,” a letter sent to the Ministry of Economy by the Aversa Manufacturing owner this mid-February, reads.
For the same reason, he says he can not start an investment of EUR 400 million in “the largest residential complex in the middle of Bucharest”.
On September 11, 2013, Blue Diamond Estate and Autoplast Engineering were named to win the Aversa privatization bid, a bankrupt producer for more than seven years. The price paid was EUR 17.3 million.
Blue Diamond Estate is wholly owned by Michael Topolinski, while Autoplast is a Brasov-based company controlled by Romanian businessman Octavian Tuturea.
The partnership led to the establishment of a new company – Aversa Manufacturing – in which Topolinski participates with money, and Autoplast with know-how. Buyers were forced to keep production in the next three years. The period expired in September 2016.
Now the Canadian investor asks for the help of the Ministry of Economy (under which AAAS is subordinated) to unblock the procedures for completing the contract. Basically, the investor still has to pay EUR 15.7 million to the Romanian state to take over the real estate assets of the former factory.
In 2013, Aversa Manufacturing restarted exporting pumps, including to Malaysia, Pakistan and UAE, and showed interest in sourcing small pumps to help complete its product offering to customers. Moreover, Aversa invested in factory equipment and working environment, new computers, printers, office furniture and business machines to improve productivity.
At the same time, Aversa started to reconnect with its install base, including delivering the first large pump to Cernavoda, worth of RON 1.1 million.
Customer purchase orders total more than RON 44 million as of end September 2014, versus sales of only 900,000 RON during the last 9 months while Aversa SA was bankrupt.
Aversa Manufacturing won the final trial against AAAS at the Court of Appeal and the final verdict was that the factory fulfilled all the auction conditions mentioned in the tender book in September 2013.