Agrokor Consultants Warn against Replacing Emergency Administrator

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 10, 2018 – The director of AlixPartners, the consultant in the restructuring of the Agrokor conglomerate, has said that replacing the emergency administrator in the indebted group, Ante Ramljak, would endanger the restructuring and that he believes the process will be completed within the legal deadline.

The law on emergency administration in systemically important companies envisages a one-year period and we are continuing to work according to that, Alastair Beveridge said in an interview with Saturday’s Jutarnji List daily. “If various circumstances don’t distract us too much from the basic job, I believe we can achieve the goal in that time.”

Asked if replacing Ramljak due to political pressure would endanger Agrokor’s restructuring, Beveridge said “that would absolutely endanger the process” and that Ramljak “is an integral part of the success we have already achieved during the emergency administration.”

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković last week requested documentation on the hiring of consultants in Agrokor after the media reported that Ramljak’s previous employer Texo Management had signed a contract with AlixPartners to consult in Agrokor’s restructuring for nearly 250,000 kuna a week. This prompted discussions about the high fees and Ramljak’s possible conflict of interest.

AlixPartners has recently said that up to 34 international and domestic consultants have been working on the restructuring, including four domestic companies: Altera Corporate Finance, Komunikacijski ured Colić, Laco i partneri, and Texo Management.

Beveridge told Jutarnji List those four companies were already helping Ramljak in the first days of the emergency administration. “At that time, none of those companies was formally hired by Agrokor, but they were doing a good job and had a very good understanding of the problem,” he said, adding that he therefore made an offer that they be part of the restructuring team.

Asked how the price of Texo’s consulting services was agreed and if the fees of other foreign and Croatian consultants were examined before that, Beveridge said it was often important to keep experts already familiar with the project. “One clear advantage of such an approach are local consultants’ lower fees, which correspond to the local market and which made our joint approach cost-effective, more favourable for Agrokor.”

Last November Ramljak said the costs of over 140 consultants in the restructuring would amount to 58-69 million euro, depending on the duration.


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