Decision likely soon on Polly Peck assets

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The Independent Online
NICOSIA (Reuter) - A resolution of the problem of who controls the collapsed Polly Peck International's assets on the Turkish-run side of Cyprus could be reached soon.

Assets owned there by Polly Peck, which was formerly headed by Asil Nadir, include three hotels, a fruit juice extract and packing facility and other small industrial plants.

Hopes for a solution were raised after a meeting between Turkish Cypriot authorities and Coopers & Lybrand, the chartered accountancy firm charged with administering the company's affairs.

The meeting took place in Cyprus last week, sources on the Turkish side of the island said.

'We want to have the facilities (of Polly Peck) here to be of use to the economy. We don't want them to be idle,' said Salih Cosar, Finance and Economy minister.

He said the administrators would contact the Turkish Cypriot government if they found buyers for lease contracts on land, and other assets owned by the conglomerate. 'If they can find buyers we have told them that we will be helpful,' Mr Cosar added.

The administrators, he said, had so far not challenged interim court decisions blocking the sale of these assets.

Asked if a solution to the assets of the group in Cyprus was near, he said: 'My impression and their approach is along those lines.' The administrators had met Mr Cosar in December and expressed optimism about a solution.

Mr Cosar added that the tax and social security authorities had taken the local administrators of Polly Peck companies to court for unpaid taxes and pension fees.