Government Preparing to Install New Management Team in Podravka

Total Croatia News

Current CEO Zvonimir Mršić says that the government’s moves towards his company will show in which direction Croatian society is moving.

Centre for Restructuring and Sale (CERP), which represents the 20 percent stake owned by the state in Podravka, recently demanded amendments to the agenda of shareholders’ meeting which demonstrate that the state wants to control at least four of the nine members of the supervisory board, reports Jutarnji List on January 22, 2017.

A source close to pension funds, which control more than 50 percent of the shares, warned that funds would not support this proposal because it is “ridiculous that the state with just 25 percent of ownership has absolute control over the company.” Therefore, it seem that the shareholder’s meeting scheduled for 21 February could be quite interesting.

The state has proposed that two vacant seats in the supervisory board should be filled by head of Croatian Chamber of Economy Luka Barilović and a banker from Koprivnica Sanda Fuček Šanjić, and also that current members Mate Crkvenac and Ivo Družić, appointed by former SDP government, should be replaced by Marko Kolaković and Slavko Tešija. Kolaković is a university professor and head of HDZ’s economic committee, while Slavko Tešija is an advisor in the Croatian National Bank who has recently been appointed to the supervisory board of Croatian Lottery as well. It is obvious that HDZ has hatched a plan to purge the supervisory board and dismiss the entire board of directors, led by SDP’s Zvonimir Mršić.

Mršić says that Podravka is currently the company with the greatest potential in Croatia. “In the past few years, my team and I have proved that we know how to deliver the right result to the owners, create new opportunities and innovative products, conquer new markets, while investing in new capacity. We operate in 24 markets with our own operations, and export to more than 60 countries, which makes Podravka the most internationalized company in the region”, he added.

He said that Podravka, after years of lethargy, has again become a trendsetter. His goal is to transform Podravka into the largest multinational company based in Croatia. “We have prepared a plan of growth and development for the next five years, which provides for a doubling of sales and, among other things, the digital transformation of the company. Since we are the biggest buyer of agricultural products for industrial production in Croatia, it is our intention to be a partner to the Agriculture Ministry to encourage agricultural production for industrial purposes, to make our knowledge available to primary producers and export to many international markets”, he said.

Mršić wants to implement the strategy and create greater value for shareholders “by doing business as an independent company, and not as part of some local company”. “Podravka is today the best that Croatia has and the way that the decisions about the company will be made will have great influence on the direction of the whole society. The last five years have been the best five years since the company was partially privatized. We are ready to prove that you can make it in Croatia, and that you can succeed globally by doing business from Croatia”, concluded Mršić.


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