(photo: Croatian National Television)
Eleven years after the public-private partnership contract between the Suncani Hvar Hotels and Orco Property Group, the Luxembourg investor is definitely leaving Croatia. It was a turbulent relationship with an initiated arbitration and a pre-bankruptcy settlement due to several lawsuits on both sites. The majority owner of the Hvar company with almost 62 percent will become a Slovak investor.
Although the name of the buyer was not mentioned in the press release, the Slovak company Prime Tourist Resort signed an agreement with Orco about buying shares of Suncani Hvar on the same day. The Slovak company now owns 62 percent shares of the Hvar company. The Prime Tourist Resorts is a part of the J&T group, which took over the Croatian Vaba Bank and whose another company recently became the new owner of Novi List.
“I hope, that the company, which bought the Suncani Hvar Hotels will add a new value and a new investment cycle to Suncani Hvar. I believe it will happen, because no one buys for speculative reasons. Hvar is a tremendously strong destination,” said the Tourism Minister Anton Kliman. Neither the Hvar Mayor Rino Budrović is worried about the change in ownership. Hvar town is not interested in the owner, but the situation in the company, employees and the whole destination as such.
At the Zagreb Stock Exchange, the Slovak company announced the takeover bid for the remaining shares, which means, that the Croatian government can sell its shares now. It is estimated, that the state could get around 100 million kuna for their 32,36 percent share in Suncani Hvar.
Here is what the Deputy Minister of Tourism Robert Pende said about the possible sale of the state shares in Suncani Hvar and other tourism assets for the Croatian National Television: “We believe that the state should not be significantly present in the tourist portfolio.” He said, that the first round of sales of the Imperijal Rab and the Hotel Maestral were completed and that the sales of shares of the Adriatic Crikvenica and the Makarska hotels are being prepared. “There is enough interest, hundreds of millions kuna are being mentioned and we would be satisfied if the pension funds would engage in this process. ACI is of a special interest to Croatia – it has a good dynamics of investments and the government does not think about its privatization,” said Pende.