- Investigations have confirmed compliance with EU and US sanctions law
- Company is allowed to resume writing USD-denominated business and to pick up its suspended business
- Board of Management will shortly present a restructuring concept for relaunching the business
Köln, 17 October 2014 - DF Deutsche Forfait AG, Köln, (Prime Standard, ISIN: DE0005488795) was removed from the sanctions list (SDN list) of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), an agency of the US Treasury, yesterday. The OFAC had placed the company on the list due to alleged violations of the Iran sanctions. Today's delisting vindicates the company's belief that it never violated US sanctions law. The delisting follows an agreement ("Terms Of Removal") between the OFAC and the company whereby the company has given certain undertakings and has agreed to comply with certain obligations and requirements. The delisting does not involve any payment of a fine by the company.
The undertakings and obligations specified in the Terms of Removal chiefly relate to the following aspects:
- DF Deutsche Forfait has undertaken not to maintain any business relations or other connections with any SDN-listed parties.
- DF Deutsche Forfait has given an assurance that to the best of its knowledge, its shareholder structure does not and will not maintain any connections with certain parties and that none of its shareholders will figure on the SDN list.
- DF Deutsche Forfait has agreed to install a compliance system, which is also in accordance with US sanctions law, to train its employees in the implementation of the expanded compliance guidelines, and to fulfil the corresponding compliance reporting requirements.
Frank Hock, Chief Financial Officer of DF Deutsche Forfait AG, said: "We are very relieved that we have managed to be removed from the SDN list within a record time of 249 days (compared to an average OFAC listing period of 850 days). Our gratitude goes to all those who have supported us and we are firmly convinced that we will be able to fulfil the Terms of Removal to their full extent. Now our challenge is to restore the operational capabilities of our company as soon as possible."
Restructuring concept: Resume business to full extent, return to profitability
Following its removal from the SDN list, the company is allowed to resume writing USD-denominated business without restriction and to pick up its suspended business. The Board of Management will shortly announce the key facts and figures as well as the schedule of its concept for relaunching the business and returning to profitability.
Martina Attawar, member of the Board of Management of DF Deutsche Forfait AG, said: "The vast majority of our international business partners have expressed their continued confidence in our company and signalled their readiness to transact with us again. Even during our time on the SDN list we received a steady stream of new business inquiries which we were forced to decline because of the listing. This confirms that our market and our business model have remained intact. The investigations of the past months mean that we have been subjected to the toughest sanctions compliance checks imaginable. The extension of our compliance system demanded by OFAC was implemented already in March 2014. Therefore we believe we are well prepared for re-entering the market."
However, restoring the company's full operational capability will require far-reaching measures to strengthen its equity base and secure its access to debt finance. Initial talks with potential investors are already underway. On the debt side, the challenge is to safeguard the existing lines of credit and to gain new partners. The providers of equity capital, the lenders and the bond holders will all have to make a contribution to a successful restructuring effort.
The dates for the publication of the pending reports (separate and consolidated financial statements for 2013, quarterly and half-year reports 2014) will be announced as soon as possible once the talks with the auditor about a supplementary audit of the separate and consolidated financial statements have been concluded. Now that the "silent period" imposed by the company's legal advisors for the duration of the OFAC listing is over, the Board of Management's general intention is to considerably step up its communication with all stakeholder groups.