Mega fine for shrimp king Nienhuis – RTV Noord


‘The liability procedure against Nienhuis is the final piece in Heiploeg’s bankruptcy,’ says curator Pieter Lettinga. Together with his colleague Gerard Breuker, Lettinga settles the bankruptcy of the Zoutkamper shrimp processor.

The Groningen Heiploeg curators are right with the fine. They held Nienhuis liable for the bankruptcy of the shrimp trade in 2014.

Sky-high fine

That bankruptcy followed a sky-high fine of 27 million euros that Heiploeg received from the European Commission for cartel formation.

Heiploeg could not bear that burden, so the shrimp processor went bankrupt and was taken over almost immediately afterwards by the Katwijk fish processor Parlevliet & Van der Plas.

The lightning-fast restart of Heiploeg left creditors duped. In total, Heiploeg still owed them more than one hundred million euros.

Brain behind market spoilage

In an attempt to recover the damages, in addition to Nienhuis, eight Heiploeg directors and commissioners were held responsible by the trustees Breuker and Lettinga for the cartel formation and the bankruptcy. The bankruptcy trustees reached a settlement of three million euros with the eight other responsible persons.

This is the final piece in Heiploeg’s bankruptcy

Pieter Lettinga – curator

Because the curators see Nienhuis as the brain behind the market spoilage, they did not want to settle with him. The thirteen million euros recovered from Nienhuis is based on the cartel fine of 27 million divided by approximately two, because Nienhuis was Heiploeg’s chairman during roughly half of the cartel period – until 2004.

Breuker and Lettinga had already seized an amount of several million in Nienhuis’s assets last year. According to Lettinga, the court gives a remarkably extensive explanation of the judgment, which is 55 pages long. “Never before have I seen a judgment that is so long,” said the curator.


Even though Lettinga calls the Nienhuis judgment the final piece in the Heiploeg affair, the issue is not finished. Nienhuis will appeal against the verdict, his lawyer Peter Hoekstra says. Ultimately, the court will determine what Nienhuis has to pay.

Lettinga is not afraid that Nienhuis is unable to pay the claim. According to the trustee, the former Heiploeg CEO is sufficiently wealthy after the sale of his Heiploeg share.

In pitchers and pitchers

What is also still ongoing is an issue surrounding Heiploeg’s flash bankruptcy. In such a pre-pack procedure, the takeover is already virtually in jugs before bankruptcy. The unions objected because the bankruptcy was kept out of their sight.

Some of the ninety employees ended up on the street and those who returned to work for Heiploeg after the restart did so under less favorable terms of employment.

After the Supreme Court approved the flash bankruptcy, this judgment will now be reviewed by the European Court of Justice.

Also read:
– The shrimp industry is like a casino
Enjoyed in Reasons; the power of the clock
Enjoyed in Reasons; nature is lord and master

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