Cigna bankruptcies: Benko Villa in Innsbruck seized

In 2016, the former Schlosshotel Igls in Innsbruck was bought by Schlosshotel Igls. The company is majority owned by Benco's Lara Private Trust. The once well-known hotel was demolished and in its place a luxury property of several thousand square meters was built, in which Benko and his family live.

As it is now known, the Austrian Republic occupied the villa. This emerges from a publicly viewable rights application dated December 13, which ZIB1 and the daily newspaper “Heute” reported on Sunday. Accordingly, Schlosshotel Igls Gmbh owes more than twelve million euros in sales tax since 2016.

René Benko's villa was seized

After several applications for bankruptcy, the Republic of Austria has now seized a villa in Innsbruck owned by entrepreneur René Benko. The company owns luxury property that owes more than €12 million in sales tax since 2016.

The application has already been approved. Fund confirmed registration of rights to ZIB1. They declined to comment on the amounts or background information, citing tax confidentiality. Cigna declined to officially comment on the document. As they say it has nothing to do with you. It is not clear why Schlosshotel Igls Gmbh did not pay any sales tax and the finance department intervened only after seven years.

Cigna Flagships files for bankruptcy

Last week, Cigna Flagships Prime Selection AG and Development Selection AG filed for bankruptcy at the Vienna Commercial Court. Cigna Development Selection AG's real estate portfolio comprises 39 projects. The company has direct and indirect interests in 290 companies. 200 borrowers and 13 employees were affected. Assets of around 296 million euros are offset by liabilities of 1.2 to 1.3 billion euros.

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Cigna Prime Selection AG is the largest operating subsidiary in Benco's network of companies. Its portfolio includes the group's most prominent properties, including the Golden Quarter in Vienna, the Lamar department store under construction in Vienna's Mariahilfer Strasse, the Gadewi in Berlin and the Elbtower project in Hamburg. Cigna Prime's liabilities are estimated at 4.3 to 4.5 billion euros.

Call for consequences

Given the fights over Cigna, experts called for closing “transparency loopholes.” Justice Minister Alma Zadiq (Greens) also spoke in favor of new rules for “unscrupulous companies”. “The recent Cigna bankruptcies dramatically show that the current legal provisions for annual financial statements are inadequate,” the minister said.

Apart from hundreds of creditors, the Republic is also likely to suffer from bankruptcy. Wolfgang Beskorn, head of the financial prosecutor's office, indicated to “Kron” that the Republic would probably lose millions due to the Giga/Leiner bankruptcy. In particular, it is a payment of 20 million euros, which Cigna Holding can use to settle all claims against Cigna companies, management bodies and consultants in the Kikka/Leiner bankruptcy. According to Peschorn, 15 of these 20 million are questionable.

Gusenbauer is demanding millions from Cigna

According to a report by “profil” and “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, creditors include the company owned by Signa Supervisory Board Chairman Alfred Gusenbauer and former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer (Greens).

According to the “Profile”, on the one hand, it is a claim from Gusenbauer Projektentwicklung & Beteiligung Gmbh for almost 5.7 million euros – including default interest of 167,000 euros. In addition, the former SPÖ chancellor, who directly followed Cigna's development, is claiming around 680,000 euros personally. These are monthly fees. According to the information, the monthly basic amount is 50,000 euros.

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