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administrative court ruling

Undervalued Serafen sale "broke several laws"

Updated onsdag 25 april 2012 kl 15.53
Published onsdag 25 april 2012 kl 11.07
Healthcare centre Serafen sold to doctors for a fraction of its value. Photo: Jessica Gow/Scanpix.

The Stockholm County Council sold the healthcare clinic Serafen to six doctors for a fraction of its value, despite knowing it was worth three times as much, reports Swedish Radio. An investigation carried out by the administrative court in Stockholm at the time found that the council had broken the law. 

"There was a row of decisions that didn't follow the procedure required by municipal law," says judge Mona Aldestam, who was part of a team looking at the controversial sale.

The council sold the centre to six doctors who had previously worked there for around $100,000 US dollars. According to Swedish Radio News, the council did this despite being aware of predictions that the value of the building would triple in the next year.

The doctors sold the building four years later for nearly $3 million US dollars.

In the weeks prior to the sale in 2007, the council had been informed by several people that the value of the clinic was much higher. Lars Carlsson, head of finance at the Stockholm City Council healthcare department, was asked to calculate the profit Serafen would make in the following year. His report estimated that a $300,000 dollar profit would be made in 2008. Carlsson says he does not know what happened to his report.

The County Council hired accounting company Price Waterhouse Coopers to get an estimated market value for the clinic. The report they issued valued the property at around $100,000 dollars, which was the price it was sold for.

Swedish Radio reports however, that the evaluation was based on figures provided to the Price Waterhouse Coopers by the council's own development department.

The laws that the administrate court now says were broken regulate, among other things, how far an official body can support private businessmen, reports Swedish Radio.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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