Van der Moolen seeks creditor protection

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by ASusilovic, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Dutch trading and brokerage firm Van der Moolen on Monday sought creditor protection and permission to suspend payments from an Amsterdam court due to what it called ‘a weak liquidity’ position. The company also released second half results, earlier than originally planned, which showed a first-half loss of €8.7m. Van der Moolen shares were suspended at the open.

    The statement comes just weeks after the firm was forced to transfer executive powers to its supervisory board following the resignation of executive board chairman Richard den Drijver in mid July. Former CEO Hans Kroon, nominated to the board in May, meanwhile, declined to take up the board position “for personal reasons”.

    According to Reuters, the brokerage posted a net loss in May on low trading volumes and a lack of market liquidity. At that point the firm also declined to forecast results for the year.

    Last week, Dutch newspapers were full of reports that mass redundancies and bonus cuts were being implemented at the firm.
    Here’s an extract from Monday’s statement, as posted on Euronext (our emphasis):

    Amsterdam - Van der Moolen Holding N.V. (international trading and brokerage firm) requested today surséance and published its first half year 2009 results earlier than anticipated. Van der Moolen Holding N.V. (”Van der Moolen”) requested this morning with the Amsterdam court a suspension of payments. The request is solely related to Van der Moolen (the parent company). No surséance has been requested for any of Van der Moolen’s subsidiaries.

    The most important reason to request a suspension of payments is due to Van der Moolen’s very weak liquidity position. After taking over from previous management, Van der Moolen’s current management concluded Van der Moolen would soon be unable to satisfy its obligations. Management is looking into the possibility of continuing Van der Moolen as a smaller company. Serious consideration is being given to selling various parts of the company. These developments have resulted in Van der Moolen’s management to call for an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting and to publish its half year results today instead of on the previously announced date of 13 August 2009.

    The extraordinary shareholders’ meeting is expected to take place in the second half of September 2009. The most important causes for the weak liquidity position are: * continuing disappointing results: Revenues in the first half year 2009 were 73% lower than the first half year 2008. It should be noted that dividend arbitrage revenues under the agreement with GSFS Asset Management BV (GSFS) of approximately €40 million were recognised in the first half year 2008. Such revenues were impaired at the end of 2008; * high cost structure: Despite lower operating expenses (1H09 were 45% lower than 1H08) costs were higher, in part due to the recent move.