Rock & More Spared From Criminal Charges

The official receiver handling the bankruptcy of what was once Austria’s Rock & More says she’s not pursuing criminal charges against Heimo Hanserl and Wolfgang Klinger because it wouldn’t be of any financial advantage to the company’s creditors.

Explaining that her role is to see that those who are owed money get as much of it as possible, as opposed to instigating legal action against individuals, Dr. Susi Pariasek of Vienna-based Pariasek Holper told Pollstar her goal is to get Hanserl’s new company to meet at least some of the debts of the old one.

She said she’s not happy that Hanserl – with Klinger as consultant – appears to have set up a new company when it was becoming clear that the old one was in trouble.

At the beginning of the year, Hanserl set up Rock & More Beteiligungs Gmbh, which is the company he and Klinger are now trading under.

Pariasek said she’s investigating whether the old company’s change of name – from Rock & More Veranstaltungs Gm to MT Veranstaltungs Gm – and the change of directors was done to mask the fact that it was the old Rock & More that was going bust.

Austrian company records show Hanserl stepped down as company chief and was replaced by Manfred Trojer as recently as August 12.

Klinger has told Pollstar the names were changed because the old company was sold (apparently only weeks before it went bust) and that the new owner – presumably Trojer – is responsible for the current problems.

As he only acted as a consultant and wasn’t a director, the same arrangement he’ll have with Henserl’s new Rock & More, Klinger said the current problems are not his responsibility.

The company named in the Rock & More bankruptcy court hearings of October 27th was listed as “MT Veranstaltungs GmbH vormals [or formerly known as] Rock & More Veranstaltungs Gm.”

Pariasek said it appears that the people who have the new company are at least partly responsible for the debts of the old company.

“The same people are still involved in running the new company and they’ve also re-employed many of the old company’s staff,” she explained.

She said she believes the old company was renamed and then ditched to avoid the name Rock & More appearing in the bankruptcy list, thereby allowing the new company to continue trading under a similar name.

As creditors have almost another month to file their claims against the bankrupt company, Pariasek said it’s far too early to say how much was owed when it went down.

However, she did acknowledge that Serbian promoter Macksa Catovic is asking for the sum of euro 200,000 he claims to have paid Klinger for the rights to promote a 2003 Rolling Stones show.

That date was canceled due to the assassination of Serbian prime minister Zoran Djindjic.

Catovic, who is head of the Belgrade-based Komuna, said he tried to get the money returned and, when that proved to be impossible, agreed that his payment could be held over for the next time the Stones played Belgrade.

That show was scheduled for July 7th, but was canceled because guitarist Keith Richards was recovering from injuries sustained when he fell out of a tree during a vacation.

Despite not being a director of the old bankrupt Rock & More, Klinger said he doubts the company owes any money to Catovic, and that it was more likely the other away around.

Creditors are currently sending their claims to Pariasek Holper, Gonzagagasse 15, 1010 Vienna, and the list will be closed at the next Handelsgericht (companies’ court) hearing December 18th.

– John Gammon