DEPA court victory ends ELFE protection, enabling next steps

An Athens Court of First Instance has delivered a verdict favoring gas utility DEPA in its legal battle with troubled ELFE (Hellenic Fertilizers and Chemicals), lifting temporary protection measures offered to the industrial producer.

As a result, DEPA, owed 120 million euros by ELFE, can now proceed with its next steps in the dispute.

Making the most of temporary legal protection offered by a court in January, 2018, ELFE has continued issuing post-dated cheques to cover DEPA gas supply since 2016, despite DEPA demands for cash payments, based on a decision by company shareholders.

The DEPA board has just held an emergency meeting to discuss the next steps of its ELFE battle.

Financial crime authorities have been monitoring ELFE developments, including the emergence of various new firms related to the beleaguered producer. They include Ellagrolip and Lipasmata Neas Karvalis.

Acquired in 2009 by failed businessman Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, the one-time majority shareholder of the liquidated Proton Bank, ELFE has morphed into various other ventures.

DEPA took legal action against Lavrentiadis and his associates last December, prompting criminal fraud and criminal organization charges.