Czech Republic: Pig farm shareholders to vote again on sale before year-end
The Czech News Agency reported on 22 August that after the AGPI firm, which owns the pig farm at Lety, signs the purchase agreement to sell the farm buildings to the state, its shareholders must still agree to the sale at a general assembly. The purchase agreement will then take effect after the new year.
Jan Čech, vice-chair of the board of AGPI, informed the Czech News Agency about the process on 21 August. The Czech Government decided on 21 August to buy the farm from the firm because it is located on the site of a former Protectorate-era concentration camp for Romani people.
The AGPI general assembly will be held by the end of 2017 after the firm signs the purchase agreement with the state. The 31 July general assembly voted on transferring the farm to the state.
Of the shareholders present at that meeting, 88 % were in favor of selling the farm. At their next general assembly, as at the last one, they will be asked to vote on whether they agree with the transfer.
"If they disagree, it will not be possible to carry out the terms of the contract," Čech said. "That's per the law on corporations. The vote we took [at the 31 July general assembly] was a test vote for us to know how the final vote would probably turn out."
"They agreed without knowing the price. That was a good sign," Čech said.
The general assembly will be convened by the AGPI management by the end of this year. If the shareholders approve it again, then the purchase agreement, according to Čech, would not take effect until 2018.
The vice-chair said he believes it is 99 % certain that the de facto buyer of the farm will be the Museum of Roma Culture, a state-financed organization of the Czech Culture Ministry. One of the minority shareholders of AGPI also wants to file a lawsuit in order to contest the firm's intention to sell the farm to the state.
Čech has confirmed the threat of the lawsuit to the Czech News Agency. "That's Mr Vrba," he said.
"About six years ago they also challenged another resolution [by the firm], lost the first instance judgment, appealed, and the second instance court confirmed the first instance judgment," Čech said. The state has not yet publicized the amount of money agreed to with the AGPI firm, which accepted the Goverment's offer two weeks ago.
Čech alleges that he, too, does not yet know how much the Government will eventually pay for the farm and that he therefore cannot comment on the price. The vice-chair has confirmed that the farm, which involves 13 000 pigs living in 13 sheds on 7.1 hectares of land, would be sold without the animals or the employees of the business being part of the sales arrangements.
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