The negative balance of thousands of operations carried out in the foreign exchange market has left a significant hole in the accounts of the García Carrión wine group. As revealed by the British newspaper Financial times, the Murcian company, owner of brands such as Don Simón, lost 75 million euros between 2015 and 2020 in transactions with derivatives carried out through the French bank BNP Paribas. The company, however, does not assume responsibility for these ruinous transactions: it blames the financial institution for carrying out the operations illegally together with one of its former managers and demands financial compensation.
The intermediation reported income to BNP Paribas of around 100 million euros, a high amount that, according to García Carrión, should have caught the bank’s attention as it came from a single client, but it was not, and the Spanish company did not receive any notice. , so you are considering filing a lawsuit to recover some of the lost money.
Many multinationals use derivatives to hedge the risks of operating with several currencies subject to market fluctuations, but in this case not only dollars were bought and sold, but also smaller currencies, such as the Swedish krona, a country where the group hardly has any presence. Based on examples like that, García Carrión’s internal investigation has concluded that unnecessary risks were taken to hedge the exchange rate, and many of the 8,400 transactions registered in those five years – six per day – would therefore have been more linked to financial investment in search of profitability.
BNP Paribas is not the only bank with which García Carrión has an open dispute over a practically identical matter. Last March, the Spanish company filed a lawsuit before the court of first instance of Jumilla (Murcia) against Goldman Sachs, Bankia, its former financial director Félix Villaverde, and his son, Carlos Villaverde, for the alleged execution of operations with currencies “without authorization or powers of representation.” The case is also circulating in parallel through the British courts, where García Carrión and Goldman Sachs exchange complaints: the investment bank accuses the winery group of not paying the amounts derived from these operations. For his part, García Carrión points out to Goldman Sachs and Bankia for having continued executing operations with derivatives by order of Villaverde despite the fact that Villaverde did not have powers to move the group’s funds.
García Carrión is having a busy year on the judicial front. In April, the National Court opened an investigation against four wineries, —among them the Murcian, but also Felix Solís, Navarro López and Fernández Castro— for fraud, misleading advertising and false documents. The investigations came after a complaint from the prosecutor’s office, which accuses them of selling wines as crianza, reserva and gran reserva wines that did not meet the requirements for their elaboration, neither in the minimum period of aging, nor in the permanence in the barrel. oak, nor bottled.