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Likelihood of Orco’s bankruptcy rising

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Today, Orco should release its economic results for last year, a move it has postponed twice already. Experts are talking more and more about a possible bankruptcy of the developer. Despite that, Orco shares have added 7.39% since early March to CZK 108.70 apiece.

For example KBC analysts say there is a 50% chance that Orco will go bust. Given the worsening situation on the market for both residential and commercial properties in the region, high debts and insufficient liquidity, the probability of a bankruptcy is increasing,” said Jiří Fišer of Patria. “I think that without a new investor the bankruptcy is even closer,” Fišer added.

Orco’s possible bankruptcy would mean that a lower number of stock issues would be traded on the Prague bourse. “As a result, securities dealers would have lower revenues for mediating of deals,” said Fišer. “Moreover, it could also mean another wave of distrust of other developer stocks. On the Czech market it would concern ECM,” said Petr Hlinomaz of BH Securities. “But it’s hard to say what would be the effect on brokers’ clientele,” Hlinomaz added.

“Whether Orco goes bankrupt or not will depend on an agreement with creditors,” said Patrick Vyroubal of Atlantik FT. “It is in their interest to keep the company operating because a liquidation would be destructive, in terms of value, for everyone,” said Vyroubal.

“We don’t want to anticipate the catastrophic scenario,” said Luboš Smrčka, chairman of the association SOS Orco. He declined to comment, however, on what steps the association is going to take. “At present, our next goals as well as a proposal for a recovery plan for the company are in the stage of preparations. But we will declare the plans publicly before the company’s general meeting starts,” Smrčka said.

And shareholders? They could do nothing but wait for what would possibly be left in the liquidation proceedings, according to analysts. Reestablishing Orco’s reputation will be a long-term process. “At the moment, there is very little chance of the reputation being put right,” said Josef Novotný of FIO Burzovní společnost. He added that a better communication with investors and creditors and an agreement on debt settlement could help. “Replacing the management at the general meeting can also have a positive effect,” said Novotný.

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