ZAGREB, June 4, 2018 – Economy Minister Darko Horvat said that he does not think that the talks between Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the Adris Group management board chairman Ante Vlahović amounted to the interference in the negotiations on the future settlement regarding the ailing private food and retail conglomerate Agrokor.
“I do not look at that as any interference in the talks and agreements. We politicians are provided by the law with the very, very modest possibilities of intervention. Currently, the process of settlement and negotiations is being conducted by the emergency administration, and I am positive that we will have the settlement by the deadline as defined by the legislative framework,” the minister said on Monday.
Horvat answered in the affirmative when he was asked by the press whether the Plenković-Vlahovic meeting had taken place, however, Horvat said that he had not attended that meeting. The minister added that the emergency administrator Fabris Peruško and his deputy Irena Weber enjoyed his full support.
This past weekend, the government confirmed that Plenković had met with the chairman of the management board of Adris, one of creditors of Agrokor, and that the prime minister had been informed of Adris’s position on the process of reaching a settlement deal for Agrokor.
On 31 May, Agrokor emergency administrator Peruško said that creditors’ negotiations on a settlement deal had ended, adding that legal formalities would now follow so that the settlement could be concluded and implemented. “The creditors’ negotiations on the settlement deal finally ended today. We have a job ahead of us, we need to turn all agreements reached into legally binding and implementable solutions,” Peruško told the press.
He told reporters that members of a temporary creditors council and large creditors had held talks about the remaining outstanding issues and the result of the talks was a settlement deal. “The emergency administration and advisors are now working on the final text of the settlement proposal so that we can send it to the temporary creditors’ council as soon as possible,” Peruško said.
Peruško admitted then that three companies were standing in the way of the settlement agreement: Agram, Alca and Adris. Agrokor creditors Adris Group, Agram and Alca did not agree to an agreement with the temporary creditors’ council this past Wednesday, saying they were not allowed to be represented by a common agent, but they had to file their claims individually instead.
However, the following day, Dubravko Grgić of Agram expressed readiness on behalf of the company to accept the deal offered by the future Agrokor owners. “Agram and the future Agrokor owners are yet to sign the deal, but Mr Grgić’s expression of readiness is a step forward in that direction,” Peruško said. He added that talks were underway with representatives of Alca whose claims, according to unofficial information, amount to 130 million kuna.
Speaking about the same topic, Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić said that the meeting between Plenković and Vlahović was constructive and that he believed that the necessary majority for adopting a settlement deal for Agrokor already existed but that it would be best if all the parties concerned got involved in the process so as to make the recovery of that ailing food and retail conglomerate more successful.
According to Tolušić, the meeting between Plenković and Vlahović had been organised at the request of the insurance and hotel management group. According to available information, Adris claims over a billion kuna from Agrokor after it provided that debt-laden company with loans. An estimated 230 million kuna is to be claimed back by transforming the debt into a stake in Agrokor. The remaining amount of the debt towards Adris is subject to ongoing negotiations and collateral for that borrowing were shares in Jamnica and Konzum, according to available information.
Tolušić said that he could understand the position of Adris that has been significantly exposed to Agrokor, underscoring that it was normal that the Rovinj-headquartered group was trying to fare as well as possible in the process of reaching a settlement deal. “Adris is one of our biggest and most successful companies and it is quite normal for the prime minister to receive their representatives. It was Adris Group that requested the meeting, and I believe that we must do everything possible to enable everybody to become involved in the settlement in a constructive and normal way,” the minister said.