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Swissair creditors win cash boost

Swissair liquidator Wüthrich explains the complex case

(Keystone)

The consultancy KPMG Switzerland says it has agreed to pay back SFr35.5 million ($28.5 million) to the liquidator of the collapsed national airline Swissair.

The liquidator, Karl Wüthrich, charged that KPMG and other consultancies and banks were given preferential treatment over other creditors by being paid in full.

Wüthrich and KPMG reached the settlement on Friday over so-called claim avoidance actions, a KPMG statement said.

Under the deal Wüthrich and KPMG agreed to waive other possible claims.

The liquidator had taken the case to the court a year ago in an effort to recoup money for creditors of the now defunct national airline.

Wüthrich initially said the consultancy charged Swissair about SFr45 million for services, although it knew about the imminent collapse of the carrier and the desperate financial situation of Swissair's mother company, SAir Group, in September 2001.

But KPMG had denied the charges.

Swissair was grounded on October 2, 2001.

More cases

Last May Wüthrich announced he was planning to force a number of companies, including the operator of Zurich airport, the airline Swiss, as well as several fuel suppliers and banks to pay back funds received from Swissair shortly before it went bust.

He is also suing many of the defunct airline's former bosses and board members for a total of SFr280 million.

A lawsuit against Deutsche Bank over the payment of SFr87 million and €20 million respectively will reportedly be filed in the next few weeks.

A report blamed disastrous expansion plans and a lack of financial controls for the collapse of Swissair in October 2001.

Six months later the airline Swiss was launched from the remains of Swissair and the regional carrier, Crossair.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The cost of the collapse of Swissair in October 2001 is estimated at SFr2 billion ($1.6 billion).
The new national airline, Swiss, was launched in March 2002.
Swiss was sold to Germany's Lufthansa in March 2005.

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