Russian state-owned banks will receive almost half of Croatia’s largest retailer

Agrokor
Agrokor

Hearings on the settlement of the debt of the largest private company in the Balkans – Croatian grocery retailer Agrokor – began on Wednesday morning at the basketball stadium in Zagreb. They called 3069 of the company’s creditors, who  have not received compensations. The company will be given into the hands of creditors and bondholders. For the deal voted the owners of 80% of the debt – 33.8 billion Kuna (4.6 billion euros), including Sberbank, Reuters reported.

About a quarter of the debt falls on Russian state-owned banks. Agrokor owes Sberbank about 1.1 billion euros, VTB bank about 300 million euros. As a result of the restructuring, Sberbank will become the largest owner of the company with a 39% stake, VTB will have about 7%. Until recently, Agrokor was the largest private company in Croatia. At the beginning of 2016, the group employed 60,000 people, with revenues of 6.6 billion euros in 2015 and net profit of 175 million euros. But it turned out that the group’s reporting was unreliable, it has no money to pay to banks and suppliers. Croatia passed a special law to support the company – its collapse would cause a recession in the country.

Sberbank is pleased with the decision of creditors, according to which it will become the owner of 39% of the Depositary receipts of the holding, the Bank’s representative said, the court should agree on the approved plan before July 10. VTB also voted “for”,  – “We are interested in the company’s capitalization growth and debt repayment.”

The preliminary cost of the company is 1.8-3.8 billion euros, follows from the March presentation of Agrokor. Sberbank (for whom retail business is a non-core activity) will first re-establish the Agrokor operations, and then look for profile investors. The restoration of the retailer’s business will require time and resources to be able to sell this package. In European local markets, the positions of large companies operating in several markets of the region are strong, often they dominate in individual countries. So, first of all, a major European networks may be interested in the purchase of Agrokor.

The deal is unlikely to affect Sberbank’s financial results. Agrokor’s debt to Sberbank last year was quite well reserved, and it will not have any significant impact on profit or capital. And the Bank will be able to record a possible return of part of debt in profit.

 

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