Money should help Konzum stock up for the summer tourist season.
Next week, Agrokor is expected to agree a new 220 million euro loan, which should be approved by a group of foreign banks and funds. This money should ensure full shelves of Konzum stores during the tourist season, as well as orderly payment of obligations towards suppliers for a longer period of time. The new credit line should encourage all stakeholders in the process, who have already become impatient and believe that the whole process should be much faster, reports Večernji List on May 26, 2017.
Those who know the situation are aware that little can be done until audit is completed. It is also one of the preconditions for a restructuring plan to be prepared. Until now, financial obligations have been registered, suppliers’ claims have to be reported by 10 June, and the company’s assets will also be defined.
It is difficult to act when there is no consent among all stakeholders in the process. And it is not easy to reconcile them because their starting positions are not the same. Suppliers, for example, announced this week their demands for the government-appointed commissioner, threatening to suspend the delivery of goods to Agrokor unless their requirements are met.
However, only some of suppliers are involved in negotiations, and it has become clear that in the most difficult situation are those who have bills of exchange with Agrokor. The 168 suppliers have requested a prolongation of the agreement with the banks and factoring companies which had agreed not to charge them the bills of exchange which suppliers received earlier from Agrokor. However, Raiffeisen Bank stated that “it does not intend to extend the deadline and that the direct agreement between each supplier and creditor is the only correct way to seek an individual solution within the deadline.”
Erste Bank said the same, adding that they could extend the deadline by a day to two. Nonetheless, according to unofficial sources, banks will not yet launch the process of forced payments from suppliers, and negotiations with them will continue. Banks want suppliers to take out loans and in that way pay the debt on bills of exchange.
There are also suppliers who do not have bills of exchange and for them the most important guarantee is that they will have priority in payment for the newly-delivered goods, those delivered after the special Agrokor law was passed.
In addition to suppliers, Ramljak has been holding talks with the bankers for a new credit tranche. It would calm suppliers who would be sure that they will be paid within 60 days. But bankers do not yet know how to guarantee the new loan and say they would like to know how their money would be spent. They claim that too much of the money from the first loan went to suppliers, and too little to the development of the company itself.
In addition to constant talks with suppliers and creditors, commissioner Ante Ramljak is in frequent visits to Agrokor’s companies in the region. On Thursday, he visited Bosnia and Herzegovina where he announced that Mercator was considering taking over the brand in the country, where the company now operates under the name of Konzum. Ramljak said that Konzum BiH was stable and paying all its obligations, but they decided to consider a new business concept in the Bosnian market with the aim of improving the long-term positioning of Agrokor’s retail sector and further development in the regional markets.