Orco’s Vitek Ousts Alchemy, Kingstown From Board of Directors

Orco Property Group (ORC) SA’s largest shareholder, Czech billionaire Radovan Vitek, pushed through a revamp that ousted representatives including Alchemy Special Opportunities and Kingstown Capital from the board of directors.

Luxembourg-based Orco, a developer with assets in central and eastern Europe, cut the size of the board to five from nine at a shareholders’ meeting held at Vitek’s request today. Vitek and his representative will each take a seat and the remainder will be held by two independents and Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois Ott, spokeswoman Petra Zdenkova said by phone.

Orco has been struggling since the global economic crisis burst the region’s real-estate bubble. Its net loss in the first nine months of 2013 totaled 116.7 million euros ($158 million) after the company took 146 million euros of impairments and an asset re-evaluation in the third quarter, it said on Nov. 30. That compares with a restated loss of 34.3 million euros for the same period a year earlier.

Today’s vote was part of an battle between Vitek, who holds about 30 percent, and minority investors Alchemy and Kingstown, which have a combined 23 percent. The meeting was postponed on Dec. 6 at the request of Alchemy and Kingstown, which also proposed removing Vitek from the board.

A Luxembourg court on Dec. 5 suspended resolutions approved by Orco’s German unit to go ahead with a reserved capital increase and sequestered 114,600,000 new shares subscribed by Vitek. The court, which acted at the request of Alchemy and Kingstown, should rule about the increase on Jan. 16.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lenka Ponikelska in Prague at lponikelska1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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