Agrokor Administrator Asks for 3-Month Extension

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 15, 2018 – While presenting the course of the emergency administration in the private ailing conglomerate Agrokor on Thursday, emergency administrator Ante Ramljak said that he had asked for a three-month prolongation of the administration, which is supposed to be brought to a conclusion on 10 April 2018 under the Law on Extraordinary Administration Proceedings in Companies of Systemic Importance of Croatia. The law stipulates that the administration should last 12 months, plus three more if necessary.

At the beginning of his address to the committee, he depicted how serious the situation was in Agrokor when he was appointed by the Zagreb Commercial Court on 10 April 2017. During his address, Ramljak also commented on his previous employment in the Texo Management company which was later subcontracted as a consultant for the overhaul of the debt-laden Agrokor.

When I accepted the job of emergency administrator, I did not have enough time to be acquainted with the situation in detail. I was forced to secure funds for cash-flow in a short period, Ramljak said, adding that he had to rely on people whom he knew and trusted and with whom he had closely cooperated, and that he had never intended to conceal the names of those consultants.

He recalled that already on 12 April 2017 he had made public who made up his consulting team. “Although the hiring and costs of my consultants have come into the limelight again recently, I recall that in accordance with instructions from the Commercial Court I have started publishing the costs of the total operations of Agrokor and the specific costs of consultants in monthly reports since October last year,” Ramljak said.

On that occasion, I also made public that the total cost of restructuring of Agrokor will be between 58 and 69 million euro, depending on the length of the process and the success of a settlement. This amount is slightly below 1% of the entire debt of the Agrokor Group, Ramljak said, adding that this is markedly lower than the percentages for such restructuring services in comparative cases in the world, where that cost amounts to 3% of the debt on average.

In his comment on the media and public outrage caused by reports about his consultants’ fees, Ramljak said that “from today’s perspective, and in hindsight, I can understand why someone can perceive my move (regarding the hiring of consultants) as immoral and even corrupt.”

“I am sorry that such a perception has been created and, believe me, everyone who knows me and my 25-year-long business career can testify that I do my job honestly and honourably and in compliance with the best rules of my profession.” He said that when he took on this job, he was ready to take on every sacrifice.

In his speech he acquainted the committee with the timeline of the events in Agrokor when he took over the emergency administration. He also recalled that a few days before the law went onto force, the then speaker of the parliament, Božo Petrov (MOST), phoned him on 8 April to ask him whether he would like to become the emergency administrator in Agrokor, and that he had answered that he could not accept the proposal unless both coalition partners — MOST and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) — were supportive of that proposal.

After that, Economy Minister Martina Dalić (HDZ) phoned him to come to Zagreb for a meeting arranged with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković who, she said, wanted to propose him for Agrokor’s emergency administrator. The Commercial Court appointed him to that post on 10 April 2017, granting the government’s request.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment