Kerum Selling Famous Drnis Prosciutto Factory for 12 Million Kuna

Lauren Simmonds

The failed Kerum trade chain is selling off its property in the area of ​​the inland Dalmatian town of Drnis, which once used to breed pigs for the well-known and widely adored Drnis prosciutto.

As Novac/Tanja Gattin Zebic writes on the 26th of January, 2020, namely, the courts had their eye on a former pig farm belonging to the Split-based ”Mesopromet”, which was one of the largest meat industries in all of Dalmatia until the Homeland War in the 1990s.

In the advertisement for sale it is named after its microlocation – the Miocic-Siveric pig farm. Today, this property in reality is actually a piece of construction land covering 165,779 square metres in total, along with its accompanying outbuildings. Its prige tag is estimated at a massive 12,434,000 kuna.

In addition, Laguna – a pool of 22,789 square metres in size, located on 40,263 square metres of agricultural land, otherwise worth 982,000 kuna, is also for sale.

The aforementioned pig farm known for the famous Drnis prosciutto and the Laguna pool will not be sold below their estimated respective values ​​in the first round of bidding, which runs until February the 18th, 2020, when the bids are due to arrive at the Commercial Court in Split. If they do not obtain a new owner at these prices, Kerum may, if it is agreed by the board of its creditors, lower the price until someone places a written offer for their purchase on the table.

The pig farm and Laguna used to be a technological unit. The controversial Zeljko Kerum once bought them for three million kuna during the bankruptcy of “Salonacoop”, as “Mesopromet” changed its name in the process of its transformation from a public company to a joint stock company. After several rounds of public auctioning, the price then dropped significantly compared to the more than two million euros that the property was valued at.

Mesopromet once had its facilities in the Split areas of Dujmovaca, Drnis and Kosuta. On the website of the City of Drnis, it can be read that the production of Drnis prosciutto as a special brand for the market started back in 1969 with the establishment of the agricultural and industrial combination of Petrovo polje (field), and that the following year, Petrovo polje would partner up with the “Mesopromet” working organisation from Split.

Until 1991, the large meat industry was governed by a workers’ council, and later the board of directors was appointed by the Croatian Restructuring and Development Agency.

At the end of 1991, the company had 1405 full-time employees and had assets worth just over two billion kuna. In the same year, it generated 2.7 million kuna, which was not enough as it resulted in a loss of 110,000 kuna.

Bankruptcy proceedings were first opened back in 1997 (the company was then called “Salonacoop”) at the suggestion of employees because of the inability of the company to pay its liabilities, losses in operations, the sale of assets and a lack of work.

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