Emil Tedeschi, the majority owner of Croatia’s Atlantic Group, says he communicates with politicians, but does not consult with them about his business decisions.
Podravka is an interesting potential investment for Atlantic Group, but not at any price, said Atlantic Group’s CEO and majority shareholder Emil Tedeschi, who commented on his approach to business and relations with Podravka and Agrokor, two of Croatia’s business giants, reports Jutarnji List on February 20, 2017.
“Podravka is an interesting investment opportunity that may be realized, or maybe not, but we certainly are not going to do it at any cost”, said Tedeschi. “Should the state decide to withdraw from Podravka through a public tender, we will apply”, he explained, adding that he was always frank about his opinion regarding the fact that the state owns just a quarter of Podravka, but at the same time has more rights than pension funds, which have more shares.
Communication in which Podravka’s current management is sending messages about Atlantic Group as a weak company is ridiculous because at the same time they talk about thinking of buying Atlantic Group, said Tedeschi. “Podravka can be better managed, and numerical comparison of the two companies ends in favour of Atlantic Group. These are the facts”, said the CEO of Atlantic.
He added that he was interested in buying Podravka in 2009, when political parties decided against it, but after that Atlantic Group bought Droga-Kolinska company in Slovenia, which proved to be an excellent business move. “I should erect a monument to the Croatian government”, said Tedeschi, who admits that he communicates with politicians, but says he does not consult with them about his business decisions.
He also commented on his relationship with Agrokor, the largest Croatian privately owned company, and rumours which started circulating after its credit rating was recently downgraded. “We are among the largest suppliers of Agrokor and I think our relationship is equal, although it could be better”, said Tedeschi.
If your major business partner is experiencing difficulties, that clearly reflects on you as well, but people in Agrokor are very committed and professional, said Tedeschi, adding that he believed Agrokor would solve the problems related to the downgrade of credit rating due to exposure to loans. “We respect Agrokor, we are aware of their situation and we monitor the assessments of credit rating agencies”, said Tedeschi.
“As for the terms of payments, nothing has changed. Agrokor is paying its obligations and I am not aware that they have asked for their extension. I never discuss in public the details of a business deal between two sides”, said Tedeschi. “The importance of Agrokor for our company and the region is great, but not fatal”, said Tedeschi, asked whether he was “having headaches” due to difficulties the company is experiencing.