The disappearance of 7 tonnes of grant money for Groningen remains puzzling

The disappearance of 7 tonnes of grant money for Groningen remains puzzling

This is stated in the latest bankruptcy report of the curator René Luinstra.

Ziel was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Marlene Vogelaar, who previously worked at Shapeways, a 3D printing company. A sustainable fashion company has developed software that allows fashion houses to produce clothes after they are ordered by customers. That way, leftovers are avoided.

public money

In 2020, the company received a capital injection of more than 4 million euros to build the first ‘on-demand clothing factory in Europe’ in Groningen. That is the biggest investor Development Fund The Economic Board Groningen has set up a grant desk to strengthen the economy of the province’s earthquake-hit region with public money.

In reality, however, Zeal lent more money to its American sister company. Also, the Dutch company did not make the agreed progress. Investors turned off the cash tap, and Zeal went bankrupt last year.

Return the money

Curator Lewinstra tried to bring the missing money to America back to the Dutch estate. Late last year, the bankruptcy trustee wrote to the US firm that it was ‘discussing how to repay these debts’. At the time, he still couldn’t say how big the chances of getting a refund were.

From the most recent Bankruptcy Statement It now appears that the US company will not be able to repay the loan. “During the last reporting period, the bankruptcy trustee had discussions with a representative of Ziel Inc about the repayment of the loan,” Luinstra writes. Ziel Inc indicated that it did not have sufficient cash flow and could not meet the demand.

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Grant money is non-refundable

This means that grant money for Groningen can no longer be withdrawn from the US.

The development fund told RTL Z that it could not recover the grant money from the bankrupt estate because the money was not loaned to the company, but invested in the company in exchange for shares. Those shares have been worthless since the bankruptcy.

The development fund declined to answer other questions about the failed investment.

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