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Creditors want SFr72 billion from Swissair Group

The Swissair Group says it is willing to accept around 30 per cent of the claims Keystone

The administrator of the collapsed Swissair Group says the company is facing claims of more than SFr72 billion from creditors.

This content was published on June 4, 2002 - 17:39

Administrator, Karl Wüthrich, said the claims had been lodged against three companies built around Swissair, including SAirGroup, SAirLines and Flightlease.

SAirGroup, the former holding company of Swissair, was alone facing claims of SFr38 billion as of October 5 last year.

Wüthrich added that SAirGroup would be contesting around two-thirds of the claims, totalling SFr26.1 billion.

The group's assets are worth only SFr1.65 billion, which will be used to cover the claims. Wüthrich said creditors could expect to be paid between 3.7 per cent and 12.2 per cent of their outstanding claims.

The Swissair Group collapsed in October last year, grounding the airline and forcing the company into receivership.

The lion's share of the creditor's claims is for so-called third-class debt - a sum of some SFr37.89 billion, mostly from Swissair's foreign partners, Sabena and Air Litteral. Of that, SAirGroup says it only recognises SFr11.8 billion.

First-class, or high-priority debts - such as salaries - account for SFr 148.6 million, of which the company acknowledges SFr92.7 million.

More fallout

News of creditors' demands comes less than a week after a commercial court in France ordered the group to pay SFr22 million to French carrier Air Littoral for failing to honour financial commitments.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated development last week, Zurich's judicial authorities raided the head office of the Swissair Group and seized documents during a day-long search.

Hanspeter Hirt, a Zurich prosecutor, told the "NZZ" newspaper that it was part of a routine probe to determine whether any false accounting or "creative bookkeeping" had taken place.

swissinfo with agencies

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