As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, a complex process involving the restructuring and recapitalisation within the Croatian Djuro Djakovic Group was finally carried out in 2022, which enabled the strategic partner, the Czech company DD Acquisition, to acquire majority ownership. At the very end of that same year, it was announced that another decision had taken place, and one which has aims for this year set very high indeed.
The construction of more brand new plants
According to information on the Zagreb Stock Exchange, CERP signed an agreement on behalf of country with the Croatian Djuro Djakovic Group (Special vehicles) on the entry of claims into the company’s share capital in the amount of 8.97 million kuna, thereby acquiring five percent of the shares, all based on the restructuring programme and the decision made by the Croatian Government back on February the 3rd, 2022.
The Special vehicles company is part of the wider Croatian Djuro Djakovic Group, and is also its “backbone”, but exactly which claims are involved, when and how they arose, hasn’t been stated in the announcement, nor has the government’s actual decision, since it is marked as confidential.
The state already included the claims that the banks had from the companies which make up the Djuro Djakovic Group during earlier assemblies, after which DD Acquisition carried out its recapitalisation by investing a massive 231 million kuna. The Croatian Djuro Djakovic Group otherwise held a 99.9% stake in Special Vehicles.
This segment is still waiting for a some fresh perspective to take charge, because the new owners have some big plans for the Croatian Djuro Djakovic Group precisely in the business of the production of railway wagons, but also in a military sense.
Adam Sotek, the CEO of CE Industries, owned by one of the partners in DD Acquisition, had a recent interview with the Slovakian business daily Hospodarske noviny, in which he pointed out that in 2023, the production of more than 800 wagons is planned within the group, while 264 were produced in 2021, and 580 in 2022.
The goal, on the other hand, is for the Croatian Djuro Djakovic Group to become the third largest wagon manufacturer in the entire EU. With small investments in the existing facilities, he says, 1,200 wagons can be produced annually.
Part of the production will take place in Serbia?
“Our vision is to have two separate factories with a total production of 2,500 wagons. That would make us third in Europe,” said Sotek.
The Croatian Djuro Djakovic Groups’s share in the wagon market back at the time the restructuring programme was approved was insignificant, standing somewhere between 3 and 4 percent, and the key players were Greenbrier Europe and Tetravagonka with around 30 percent share, and Transvagon with 10 percent share. It is a market with somewhat stronger growth, because the demand for rail transport is on a strong upward trajectory.
The new owners will direct the production of wagons with higher added value to Slavonski Brod, and due to costs, at least according to Sotek’s interview, they aren’t ruling out the possibility that part of the production will be done in neighbouring Serbia as well. The defense programme, which is also under Djuro Djakovic Special vehicles, has a weaker representation when it comes to the group’s revenues, but the new owners have pointed out that changes are set to come in that segment as well.
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