Novo Banco saw no conflict of interest in the Imosteps proposal

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Novo Banco defends that the proposal by Iberis to buy the debt of Imosteps, by Luís Filipe Vieira, did not constitute a conflict of interest.

Novo Banco defended, in a letter sent to Parliament, that the proposal by Iberis to buy the debt of Imosteps, by Luís Filipe Vieira, did not constitute a conflict of interest, contrary to what was understood by the Resolution Fund.

“Of course, for Novo Banco, Iberis’ proposal did not constitute any conflict of interest, otherwise it would not have been approved by the competent internal structures and recommended to FdR”, the letter sent to the parliamentary inquiry committee on the Novo Banco, to which Lusa had access.

According to the letter, “the information that the bank had regarding the proposal presented by Iberis [ligada a José António dos Santos], namely, with regard to the last effective beneficiary, it was made available both to the Resolution Fund – with the request for authorization and clarifications provided following it – and to the Monitoring Committee”.

The letter from the executive chairman António Ramalho, who answers questions from the PS and PSD, addresses the operations described in Red Card operation, which involves the ex-president of Benfica and leader of Promotelor, Luís Filipe Vieira, his son, Tiago Vieira, and also businessmen José António dos Santos and Bruno Macedo.

According to documents from the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the transaction, Imosteps’ debt caused a loss of 45.6 million euros to Novo Banco, and Luís Filipe Vieira intended to buy it back, in order to eliminate the personal guarantees associated with it.

However, this purchase could not be done directly by Vieira or by related parties, for which the administrator of Novo Banco Vítor Fernandes will have warned him to do so, according to the document.

The Resolution Fund identified a party related to Vieira, namely José António dos Santos, who had advanced with one of the proposals to buy the debt of Imosteps, in this case through the company Iberis Semper, and led the first deal.

Imposteps’ debt was later included in the Cream II wallet, with the Public Prosecutor’s Office convinced that Tiago Vieira initiated proceedings with international funds that usually buy bad debt (in this case Bain and Davidson Kempner), in a process that also included the administrator of the SAD of Benfica Miguel Ângelo Moreira, expressing interest in the purchase of debt.

“Knowing that Novo Banco wanted to close the sale of the ‘Projeto Nata II’ credits by the end of June and having been informed by Vítor Fernandes about the inclusion of Imosteps’ debt in Nata II and how best to withdraw it, defendants Luís Filipe Vieira and Tiago Vieira then decided engineer a scheme that would allow them to submit a written proposal”, the document reads.

This strategy, according to the MP, “was creating a appearance of multiple stakeholders in the acquisition of credits”.

According to the MP, Luís Filipe Vieira gave instructions for the acquisition of debt to buyer Davidson Kempner, which was made for 9 million euros, using funds from José António dos Santos, through a fund called Fundo Portugal Reestructuring Fund FCR .

The MP’s document states that Vieira ended up selling for 1 euro Imosteps to the fund, “in this way settling the debt of Imosteps in the amount of 54.3 million euros, which was previously guaranteed by it through five promissory notes, which were returned to it, managing to terminate its personal guarantee”.

After the sale, he adds, Luís Filipe Vieira ceased to hold 50% of the capital of OATA SGPS, but continued to make all decisions relating to the business of those two companies and about the assets in Brazil.