Although business and politics should be separate, the Mayor of Koprivnica has his opinion about who should be the company’s owner.
An attempt to create a crisis of management in Podravka has the goal of delivering the food company from Koprivnica into the hands of a Croatian corporate giant, said acting Mayor of Koprivnica Mišel Jakšić (SDP), reports Večernji List on July 27, 2016.
Last week, at the general meeting of the Podravka shareholders, Jakšić said that such move would bring about the relocation of the company headquarters away from Koprivnica. “This is something which we cannot accept. If we take into account a rational analysis of Podravka’s business operations, which have recorded an increase in revenues and profits, then it could be argued that Podravka could actually soon take over companies or parts of companies which are now interested in Podravka. As for the company headquarters, Podravka has demonstrated even during the times of crisis that it can operate very well from Koprivnica”, explained Jakšić.
He added that he found out about the interest “of a Croatian corporation” from the media, political and business circles, but did not want to explicitly say who it was. However, he did not deny that he was talking about Atlantic Group owned by Emil Tedeschi, who in a recent television appearance made it clear that he was once again, just like seven years ago, interested in entering the ownership structure of the food giant from Koprivnica.
“Podravka has not done a lot of things that could be done. It could have been a company with a turnover of 20 billion kuna and more. Podravka can do much better and I think that in synergy with Atlantic Group it would achieve significantly higher growth rates”, said Tedeschi in late June.
Jakšić’s statement was immediately criticized by a former prominent member of HDZ Zdravko Dimač, who described it as a part of the election campaign for the forthcoming elections. The HDZ branch in Koprivnica also issued a statement. “The Mayor used the shareholders’ meeting as a platform for the upcoming election campaign for parliamentary and local authority elections. It is sad that he supports the policy of layoffs, the closure of production facilities, and the announced sale of the production of drinks business”, wrote HDZ in a press release.
The crisis of management which Jakšić talked about refers to the request by the State Office for State Property Management to replace three SDP members and one independent member of the Supervisory Board with people close to HDZ and MOST. The proposal was not adopted. The state currently owns about 25 percent of the company.