BERLIN, GERMANY / CHANTHABURI, THAILAND – EQS – September 6, 2019 – In connection with the publication of its quarterly figures, the Berlin jewelry retailer elumeo SE, which operates through its subsidiary Juwelo TV, has issued a statement on the situation of its former jewelry manufacturer and supplier PWK Jewelry Company Limited (Thailand). This statement was met with great astonishment by the managing directors and employees of the now insolvent company. The jewelry manufacturer PWK became insolvent because elumeo SE had ordered goods worth over 30 million euros through its subsidiary Silverline Distribution Ltd. and paid only a small part of this amount. As a result, PWK Jewelry Company Limited was unable to pay salaries, statutory severance payments, creditors or loans. Over 600 employees lost their jobs and protested furiously in Bangkok and Chanthaburi.
Wolfgang Boyé, chairman of the board of directors of the parent company elumeo SE, falsely claimed to the newspaper “Handelsblatt” that the PWK had sufficient funds at its disposal to pay off the workers and settle debts.
Taralatp Vrasarinnop Representative of the PWK Managing Directors: “elumeo’s management is trying to cover its criminal actions with a network of misrepresentations, changed information and simple lies. In a desperate attempt to justify the destruction of a company and the lives of over 600 people, elumeo’s management is spreading false claims and false facts.
Wolfgang Boye’s assertion that he cares about the fate of former PWK employees is nothing more than a cynical, inhuman assertion. As hundreds lots of e-mails and messages prove, the last salaries were paid at the insistence and under the constant pressure of the PWK board members. Elumeo SE has written to PWK’s directors urging them to find a way to force employees out of the company without having to pay their statutory severance pay.”
Wolfgang Boyé, under whose leadership the listed elumeo SE began a rapid economic downturn, repeats in the newspaper “Handelsblatt” his objectively false assertion that the PWK had sufficient funds to pay the workers and creditors. Here are the facts:
1. The public prosecutor’s office in Germany (file number 242 540/19) is investigating, as well as the police authorities in Thailand the management of elumeo SE (Wolfgang Boye, Bernd Fischer and Tomas Jarmuske) for fraud, among other things. elumeo SE actively caused the economic imbalance of PWK Jewelry Limited by not paying for deliveries by PWK Jewelry Limited.
2. Elumeo SE is not paying its liabilities to PWK Jewelry Limited, although elumeo SE and its subsidiary Juwelo Deutschland GmbH have unpaid jewelry in stock worth several million Euro, which was demonstrably supplied by PWK Jewelry Company Limited.
3. The managing directors of PWK Jewelry Limited are personally liable in Thailand for the bank loans taken by PWK Jewelry Limited because elumeo SE does not settle its liabilities to PKW Jewelry Limited. In addition, they are also threatened with criminal consequences (imprisonment) because of the unpaid salaries and severance payments of the workers.
4. On 31 August 2018, elumeo SE through its subsidiary Silverline Distribution Ltd. (Hong Kong) issued a written instruction not to “sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of the Company’s assets”. Thus, contrary to the assertion of Wolfgang Boyé and his CFO Bernd Fischer, the PWK management could not sell any assets of PWK in order to raise liquidity.
5. Around the same time elumeo stopped payments to PWK Jewelry Limited.
6. Wolfgang Boye claim to the newspaper “Handelsblatt” on 20.8.2019 that PWK had assets of 4.5 million EUR which could have been liquidated to pay off the debts. The fact is, however, that PWK Jewelry Limited had no assets to pay off the accumulated debts, which elumeo SE knew. The fixed and current assets of PWK Jewelry Limited are subject to a lien by Siam Commercial Bank. Siam Commercial Bank has thereby secured a loan that it has granted to PWK Jewelry Limited and that PWK Jewelry Limited has not yet repaid. The amount of the loan clearly exceeds the value of PWK Jewelry Limited. Consequently, a sale of the current assets would not have sufficed to pay the employees even independently of the instructions of elumeo SE.
7. PWK Jewelry Limited can expect a VAT refund of EUR 1.1 million in three to five years at the earliest. This is how long the procedure at the Thai tax office will take, which is also known to elumeo SE. That, too, could not be counted on.
8. The management of PWK Jewelry Limited has repeatedly submitted, in writing, proposals for restructuring and cost reduction in accordance with Thai law. All proposals were ignored by the management of elumeo SE.
9. The managing directors of PWK were deliberately used by the management of elumeo SE as personal guarantors for the bank loans taken out by PWK Jewelry Limited in Thailand, with the clear statement that no other subsidiary of elumeo or its management should provide such guarantees, but only (quote) “individual guarantees from directors of PWK. There is no further participation or exposure such as personal guarantees or letters of comfort from any other company of the elumeo group or collateral in any other assets of PWK (e.g. inventories, finished goods)”.
All of the above facts are fully documented and are currently being investigated by the Thai police and the German public prosecutor’s office.