Prosecutor asks Justice to declare Pan bankruptcy;
Company accumulates multimillion-dollar debts and is in the process of judicial recovery;
According to the SP MP, Pan is no longer able to maintain activities.
The Public Ministry of São Paulo asked the Justice to declare the bankruptcy of Pan (National Food Products), a company that became famous for the chocolate ‘cigarettes’. The information is from the column by Rogério Gentile, from UOL.
In 2021, Pan had debts estimated at R$209 million. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the difficulty of paying what it owed and the fear of bankruptcy, the company filed a request for judicial reorganization so that the Courts would suspend the collection processes and grant a deadline for the presentation of a recovery plan. payment, which should later be approved by the creditors at a meeting.
However, prosecutor Júlio Sérgio Abbud believes that the tax debt prevents Pan from maintaining its activities, with bankruptcy being the only possible way out. According to the report by the administrator appointed by the Court to monitor the recovery process, the company owes R$ 186.5 million in taxes, most of it to the São Paulo government. “The company is a persistent debtor to the tax authorities and is remiss (negligent) in the payment of existing tax debts”, she said.
The request has not yet been analyzed by the Court.
Pan defends himself
In a document sent to the Court, Pan pointed out that its conduct contradicts the statement that it is a “constant debtor”. The term would be “pejorative”, since its “default is not motivated by intent” but because of “severe economic difficulties, which were aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.” The company was forced to stop activities a month before Easter. , in 2020. “What would be the best time of year for the sector has become a nightmare for the chocolate industry”, he highlighted.
In a document, he said that he has been trying to settle his tax debts by negotiating installments and offering goods as collateral. In addition, he stated that he is being contacted by other companies interested in making mergers or acquisitions. Even so, “disbelievers insist on attempts to convince the court of the company’s infeasibility”, he pointed out, referring to the Prosecutor’s manifestations.
On the other hand, the Attorney General’s Office of the State of São Paulo declared that Pan “lacks the truth”, since the debts remain outstanding and that the renegotiation agreements were undone because the company did not pay the agreed installments.
Judge Marcello Perino extended the period of suspension of collection processes, establishing a new deadline for Pan to present a payment plan to creditors.
The idea for the product, still famous today, came at a time when smoking was considered an elegant habit. Surfing this wave, Pan launched chocolate ‘cigarettes’ so that children could imitate adults.
The packaging resembled a pack of cigarettes and had a photograph of a boy holding the candy as if he were smoking. However, the reference was banned by the Ministry of Health in the 1990s, when cigarettes became the great villain of public health.
Pan then changed the name of the product to ‘Chocolate Rolls’ and replaced the young smoker with one that made the thumbs-up sign.