Aric Group Contemplates Suspension Amidst Legal Wrangles and Financial Impediments
In a significant development on July 17, Aric Group, announced at a press conference the potential suspension of its business. The group attributes this decision to ongoing legal disputes and financial challenges that have cast a shadow over its future.
"Since its inception in 2013, Aric Group has played a vital role in the Georgian economy, investing millions of dollars into the acquisition of 3013 hectares of land, development of advanced agricultural facilities, and the establishment of an extensive irrigation system. Notably, the group has planted over half a million pistachio, almond, walnut, and fruit trees along with vineyards, offering employment to around 200 locals and pumping millions of Georgian Lari into maintaining its farmlands," Director of the Company Afzal Ravari notes.
However, the company finds itself entangled in a protracted legal battle due to alleged infractions by the former management and prospective land buyers, which have resulted in considerable damage to its agricultural assets. Despite initially being awarded roughly USD 4,568,600 in damages, the case remains unresolved after more than a year in the Court of Appeals due to an appeal by the opposing party.
Further complicating the group's predicament, a Tbilisi City Court ruling from March 16, 2023, froze the group's assets in response to allegations from the opposing party. This move has severely hampered the group's ability to secure loans, compromising its ability to offset the detrimental impact of recent flooding and adverse weather conditions in the region.
Aric Group's appeal to the court for reverse injunctions remains unanswered. The appeal would require their opponents, reportedly devoid of any property in Georgia, to deposit funds as a guarantee for the damages incurred from the asset seizure. The delay in court proceedings and the inability to resolve disputes in a timely manner are exacerbating the group's financial strain and hindering one of Georgia's largest agricultural operations.
Despite these obstacles, Aric Group maintains its commitment to Georgia's agricultural industry and overall economy, reasserting its belief in the importance of these sectors for the nation's sustainable growth and prosperity. However, the ongoing legal and financial uncertainties have prompted the group's founders and investors to consider halting investments in the farm. The possible suspension of the company's operations may lead to irreparable damage to the hundreds of thousands of trees it has planted and could result in significant job losses.
Aric Group's potential suspension underscores the urgent need for efficient judicial processes and stronger business protection mechanisms to ensure the sustained growth and prosperity of the Georgian economy.