Despite Filing Criminal Report, Sberbank Might Still Finance Agrokor

Total Croatia News

Possible lawsuits could reduce the value of Agrokor companies when they are sold, says a consultant.

The lastest Sberbank’s loan in the amount of 100 million euros approved to Agrokor in February was a trigger for the bank’s decision to file a criminal report against Agrokor majority owner Ivica Todorić. The Russians, as well as everyone else, have found out that financial statements on the basis of which Agrokor was funded were incorrect. The Russians approved the loan at a time when Agrokor was on the brink of collapse and later demanded that the loan should have a priority status in repayment, reports Večernji List on 4 August 2017.

Agrokor’s interim administration has not accepted their request. A month later, the government offered the roll-up model to all interested creditors, which means they would have the priority in repayment of old debts if they agreed to finance Agrokor with fresh loans. Sberbank initially did not accept the proposal but is still negotiating whether or not to participate in a new loan through the roll up model.

The criminal report against Todorić does not affect the group itself, and sources say that the group would not suffer consequences even if criminal reports were filed against persons who were members of managements of individual companies in the group. Another criminal report against Todorić has been submitted by MOST leader Božo Petrov, so the State Prosecutor’s Office now has two reports on the basis of which it is investigating whether there is the reason for further legal action.

That the Russians were angry at Ivica Todorić was evident two months ago, when one of Sberbank leaders Maxim Poletaev said that they would sue Todorić. Still, Poletaev said at the time that it was better to have a “small settlement than a big lawsuit.” It is possible that they would still like to reach an agreement with the government and the government-appointed extraordinary commissioner.

The government has once already rejected a deal with Sberbank, when it did not want to acknowledge the significance of its 100 million euro loan, which at that time saved the company. The government indirectly said that the bank itself had to take responsibility. The Russians have not completely given up because they still come to Agrokor’s headquarters and take part in talks with the management.

A deal would be good for everybody because, if the Russians were to opt for lawsuits involving companies within the group, there could be problems, because selling the companies would become more difficult. And the sale of businesses will be the primary source of money to settle creditors.

Consultant Andrej Grubišić explains that agreements are often reached in order to reduce financial damages. The fact that Agrokor’s companies could be involved in lawsuits would create a problem. That could further lower the value of the companies and there could be demands for the money from the sale to be put into a separate account and frozen there, depending on the outcome of the lawsuits. Therefore, suits and lengthy legal processes are not in anybody’s interest.

As for the criminal report, the State Prosecutor’s Office has been checking documents for more than three months. The responsibility is on the companies’ boards of directors, but also on supervisory boards and auditors who have signed on the financial reports.

Translated from Večernji List.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment