Buenos Aires Times

economy INCLUDING C5N news channel

Court intervenes pro-Kirchner media empire amid bankruptcy uncertainty

Oil Combustibles went bust in May. It was owned by Cristobal López and Fabian de Sousa, business tycoons with close ties to the former Kirchner administrations.

Thursday 7 June, 2018
The facade of the C5N news channel's station in Buenos Aires.
The facade of the C5N news channel's station in Buenos Aires. Foto:File-Perfil

More Economy News

A federal commercial court is set to take control of disgraced businessman Cristobal López’s media empire Grupo Indalo, following the formal bankruptcy in May of his Oil Combustibles firm, the majority shareholder in Indalo.

Argentina’s AFIP tax bureau is fighting to recover around US$500 million in overdue taxes stemming from what prosecutors alleged were favourable — and illegal — repayment options granted to Oil Combustibles by the former AFIP administration during Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's time as president.

The court will now take charge of the firm in order to audit its assets for future sale.

Earlier this year, the AFIP had agreed with the courts to a mechanism that would allow a winning bidder to repay Oil Combustibles’s debts in 12 instalments. But they failed to seal a deal with Trafigura S.A. (TASA), an oil company based in the Netherlands, leading to the firm’s formal bankruptcy.

Commercial Court Judge Javier Constentino has ordered the continuity of the company’s business activities in order to protect jobs.

Indalo owns and operates the high-rating news channel C5N; radio stations 10 and FM Pop; newspaper Ámbito Financiero; and the websites ámbito.com, minuto1.com and diarioregistrado.com. 

Across its media platforms, the firm’s editorial line is considered favourable to former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and her political movement, known locally as Kirchnerismo.

JAIL TIME

Oil Combustibles was owned by López and Fabian de Sousa.

López was jailed in December on a preventative detention order, but released in March. An appeal reversed his release and he and de Sousa were returned to jail. The judge who signed his initial release, Jorge Ballestero, quit the federal court circuit in May amid controversy.

Prosecutors have alleged that López benefited from the leniency granted to him by the the previous AFIP administration to fund other business ventures including C5N.

The company had been intervened since February.

-TIMES

Poll

Op-Ed

Top Stories

  1. 1Hantavirus claims new death in Argentina's northHantavirus claims new death in Argentina's north
  2. 2Macri and Bolsonaro will work together to modernize Mercosur, boost Argentine economy
  3. 3Argentina's 2018 inflation highest since 1991, at 47.6%
  4. 4Domestic flights operating after pilots cancel 48-hour strike
  5. 5Saskia Sassen: "Many of the spaces we believe to be public are privately owned"
  6. 6The fight against corruption in Argentina
  7. 7Four dead, thousands evacuated in north Argentina floods
  8. 8'Suspected anarchists' carry out two attacks in Buenos Aires; Police arrest 13
  9. 9Time to batten down the hatches
  10. 10Foreign voices must speak up and call for Milagro Sala’s release