Agrokor’s New Manager Presents His Plans

Total Croatia News

Antonio Alvarez III will lead the restructuring process of the Croatia’s largest privately-owned company.

The situation in Agrokor is very serious and there is no guarantee that we will succeed, but we will give our best, said on Tuesday evening Antonio Alvarez III from the Alvarez&Marsal consultancy, who has been appointed to lead the restructuring process of the embattled group, Croatia’s largest privately-owned company. He held a press conference presenting his plans and members of his restructuring team.

“The company has just agreed to appoint me as the chief restructuring officer in order to try to create stability, create more clarity and bring together a diverse group of stakeholders, employees, suppliers, creditors, banks, bonds holders – because time is of the essence. The situation is pretty acute, there is no guarantee we will succeed. I have faced quite a number of challenging situations, but this is a very challenging situation.

We are not going to have lots of time to present all of our ideas and what we are going to do, but we will try to give you a little bit of information and we will continue to communicate closely with all our stakeholders, make public statements and provide overview of the progress. We want to create openness and independence, we do not work for anyone other than the company and all its stakeholders.

We have a mix of both finance restructuring professionals that are experienced, as well as people with operating experience, that can run businesses. We wanted to make sure we have full resources and capabilities for this particular situation to the extent it could be helpful to the situation.”

Who appointed you, for whom do you work, who will pay you?

I have been appointed by the company, but I am independent. I do not have an allegiance to any stakeholder. I am here to maximize value for all the stakeholders, to keep the group together. I have got a track record of having preserved and saved lots of jobs, having preserved supplier relationships, but there is no guarantee we will be able to do all of that here, but we are going to try, that is what we are here for. What is important here is that we are independent. Different groups support us because they know we do not have an agenda with anybody. We just want a solution for the business.

Will there be layoffs or do you think you will be able to save all jobs?

I cannot promise anything, all I can say is that the best way to maximize value and protect value for all stakeholders is to keep the group intact. That much I know. What we will need to do to preserve value, whether we will need to shave off some parts to save the group, it is too early to say, but in my last case, we managed to preserve all jobs. We need to create stability. There is a business here, an operating business that needs to be protected. There is a loss of confidence by key stakeholders that are squeezing the company that we need to make stable.

What if the company starts to collapse? What is your plan?

I hope there is no walk out of Agrokor. I hope people understand that it is something important for the country and the region to save, but there is no guarantee, I need to focus on immediate stability, liquidity. We are providing transparency, objectivity, we will continue to report progress. It is early, I do not know what the mid-term plans are, now we need to stop the crisis, and that is our first objective.


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