Calata Corp. to sue partners in meat business, alleging fraud

Posted on July 29, 2015

CALATA CORP. said it plans to file a syndicated estafa suit against the Galicia family, a partner in its meat business, escalating the legal fight after earlier charges filed against the company by the Galicias and Patienthill Cold and Dry Storage Corp.

Calata said in a disclosure that it received a civil complaint for the annulment of title, recovery of possession, specific performance and damages and a temporary restraining order/mandatory injunction filed by Felicisimo M. Galicia and Myrna O. Galicia, Paulo Roman O. Galicia, Roger O. Galicia and Patienthill.

Respondents to the case were identified as Calata, Brookfields Meat, Inc. (BMI), Joseph H. Calata, Benison Paul de Torres, Jose Maria E. Fabella and the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City.

Apart from stating that the annulment-of-title suit was filed before the Quezon City regional trial court, no other details of the civil case were disclosed.

But in a separate announcement, Calata said its Board of Directors in a meeting on Monday approved “the filing of several cases of Syndicated Estafa and all other criminal/civil/administrative cases... against the Galicia family, Patienthill... and all other parties who may be responsible for the criminal/civil/administrative offenses.”

In 2013 Calata moved to acquire a 51% interest in BMI, which supplies meat to major supermarkets, including those of the SM Group. A 49% interest remained with the Galicia Group.

Calata, in its disclosure said it conducted “several months of investigations” of alleged “anomalies and suspicious transactions of the Galicia family and Patienthill...”

It also noted that it conducted “surveillance with coordination with different government agencies,” which eventually led to an investigation.

Calata’s board also agreed to seek the aid of the National Bureau of Investigation, Securities and Exchange Commission, and other government agencies.

In addition, it will also seek the issuance of a hold departure order and/or lookout bulletin against the Galicia family, officers of Patienthill and all other respondents.

The company emphasized that does not “tolerate any illegal acts,” adding that it would not hesitate “to institute strong legal action against those responsible in order to protect and vindicate its right and safeguard the interest of the investing public as well.”

Calata said it has full control and possession over the operations and meat fabrication plant of BMI.

“A professional team which has been duly constituted and appointed, is presently overseeing the operations to ensure the continued growth of BMI,” the company said.

Last year, Calata disclosed that it expects substantial increase in revenues once BMI enters full operations.

Plans to acquire BMI from the Galicia family were announced by the listed company in December 2013. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano