Free Record Shop's 36 Dutch stores can remain open, because several parties have shown an interest in a restart, according to curator Rob Boers who expects a decision by next week.
All stores or slimmed down
One of the parties is apparently interested in a restart with all stores intact. Another scenario is one where Free Record Shop slims down, according to NOS. It remains unclear whether a restart is actually possible. "It is a collection of a lot of facts and questions", curator Boers said.
It would also seem that ProCures, Free Record Shop's owner, has done some questionable things according to the bankruptcy reports. Right before the first bankruptcy, the company apparently withdrew one million euro from the chain. The company had bought the Belgian subsidiaries and the Game Mania stores for a symbolic euro, even though they had more than 7 million euro of cash, according to RTL Nieuws.
ProCures asks for no investigation
The curators tried to revert the transaction after the first bankruptcy and succeeded in June 2013, but in the few months that ProCures owned the Belgian stores, it withdrew 1.2 million euro from these stores.
The curators wished to investigate the transaction, but decided not to when ProCures turned out to be the only interested party in part of the bankrupted chain. Its one condition was that the 1.2 million euro was not to be investigated. To assure a restart, the curators agreed.
"Money went the wrong direction"
Curator Borsboom regrets the fact that Free Record Shop now has to shut down anyway. "You want the best for a company, but to make it a success, the owners have to invest energy and money, of which there was a lack. There are signs that the money went into the wrong direction", he told RTL Nieuws.
He feels the Belgian curator is the one to consider possible judicial steps to investigate the suspicious transactions "because the transactions were part of the Belgian companies which went bankrupt in November anyway".