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

Orco Property Group 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.

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