To briefly recall, Gredelj’s bankruptcy began back on October the 1st, 2012, and an encouraging letter of intent from an Austrian railway company is a possible path to its end. Could an Austrian acquisition be the end of Gredelj’s long list of problems?
As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes on the 23rd of January, 2019, the Austrian company OBB-Technische Services GmbH operating in the Austrian Federal Railways has provided a letter of intent on expressing an interest in the possible purchase of Croatia’s TŽV Gredelj d.o.o., which is in bankruptcy.
This information has now been officially confirmed, as have the decisions made by Gredelj following it, the company promptly authorised bankruptcy trustee Tomislav Đurić to initiate some preliminary talks. As the Austrians are, at least formally, the only interested party, perhaps this is the way for Gredelj to finally claw its way out of the dark tunnel of bankruptcy. Despite its issues, it wouldn’t be right to exclude its importance, or that other interested investors, including those which are already familiar with the situation won’t pop up at the last minute, the same can be said for the potential of Russian capital suddenly knocking at the door.
The first meeting between the aforementioned Austrian railway company and Gredelj’s bankruptcy trustee should be held this month, but the final position on this possibility, which has suddenly been opened up as a possible solution to Gredelj’s acquisition, will still have to be waited on for a certain period. This delay is key to assessing the viability of investing in TŽV Gredelj, but is also the determining factor on how to complete the bankruptcy proceedings which commenced back on the 1st of October 2012, Most importantly, this order of things needs to take place because of which the process which is being conducted – the plan to settle the company’s bankruptcy and provide a final resolution to its creditors.
This manufacturing company and ex-component of Croatian Railways will not be sold below the asking price, but will also not be liquidated through the sale of large tangible assets. “TŽV Gredelj, with its 410 employees, is the only company in the region that can carry out all [types of] repairs on locomotives and wagons, both those that are simpler and those which are more complex,” stated Đurić, dismissing the worrying Gredelj liquidation scenario.
Several meetings with representatives of the Austrian railway company are expected to be organised. Other important aspects, such as all the data on Gredelj’s technological and production capabilities, first became known to the Austrians on the basis of their recent collaboration with LocoTech.
Just how things will proceed between the currently interested Austrian railway company and Gredelj is yet to be seen and the enfeebled Croatian company is far from out of the woods it entered back in 2012 yet. However, a concrete expression of interest from the Austrians, who are typically very serious in such matters, is a step in the right direction.
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