Calata files cases vs Austrian trader

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THE CHAIRMAN of delisted agribusiness firm Calata Corp. last week filed criminal cases against Austrian trader Alfred Reiterer over the latter’s statements maligning the company.

In a statement issued over the weekend, Calata said extortion and cyber libel charges were filed against Mr. Reiterer for his attacks against Calata Chairman Joseph H. Calata’s businesses despite not owning shares in the company.

“We reiterate again for the record that Reiterer does not own a single share in Calata Corp. and has no legal basis for him to claim or designate himself as representatives of the minority shareholders of the company,” the company said.

Calata is now coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Immigration to discuss on how to proceed with the cases. The company previously filed reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) against Mr. Reiterer to clarify that it is not connected with the trader.

“Further, please be advised that in the coming weeks, additional criminal, civil and administrative cases shall be filed against Reiterer as a result of a continuous and thorough investigation against him and his disruptive and/or illegal actions not only against Calata Corp., Black Cell Technology Limited (HK) and also against (Mr.) Calata,” the company said.

To recall, Mr. Reiterer has acted as the representative of some small shareholders of Calata during PSE’s hearings on the company’s involuntary delisting in 2017. Mr. Reiterer joined in the effort to elect a new set of directors to lead Calata, supposedly for the sake of the shareholders.

Replying to Calata’s statement, Mr. Reiterer argued he now holds shares in the company after buying out shareholders following the delisting procedures.

“I bought 6,000 shares of Calata Corp. with stock certificate number 000093. The Deed of Sale was executed in December 2017 and the seller already paid all taxes and fees last year and we are only waiting for BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) to release the Certificate Authorizing Registration before we will forward all documents together to the Corporate Secretary to issue a new stock certificate in my name,” Mr. Reiterer said in a statement released on Sunday.

Mr. Reiterer said he bought the shares when the company failed to conduct a tender offer after getting delisted from the PSE. The tender offer would have provided shareholders the option to exit the company and regain their investment.

Aside from Calata, the company claimed Mr. Reiterer has also been attacking online agricultural marketplace Krops, a separate business headed by Mr. Calata that seeks to provide farmers better market access to their products.

“Reiterer has also been maligning Krops, which is a business totally unrelated to Calata Corp.,” the company said.

Krops describes itself as an agribusiness based application, owned by Hong Kong-based firm Blackcell Technology Limited. Its operations are currently limited to the Philippines, with the goal of expanding to the Southeast Asian market in the coming months, according to its Web site.

In his statement, Mr. Reiterer emphasized that some officials of Calata are also working under Krops. For instance, Calata Corporate Consultant Jason Mullings is cited as the innovation director of Krops, based on the company’s Web site. — Arra B. Francia