ZAGREB, February 22, 2018 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said at a government session on Thursday that consultations were under way to appoint a new emergency administrator for the heavily indebted Agrokor food and retail conglomerate, and that the government would very soon propose to the Commercial Court the person to succeed Ante Ramljak, who resigned as Agrokor’s emergency administrator on Wednesday, as well as his deputy.
Plenković said that this would probably happen next week after all necessary consultations were completed, and that this time the government would propose a deputy emergency administrator as well. He reiterated that the government’s role in containing the Agrokor crisis last year was crucial for the country’s economic and financial stability.
“Croatia did not experience an economic tsunami and it could have. Those who keep calling for political destabilisation must be aware that by doing so, they are threatening the stability of the national economy and the financial system,” said the prime minister.
“Some people don’t seem to understand that without political stability and the normal functioning of the government and parliament there can be no necessary calm to complete this economic and financial process, whose sole aim is to preserve jobs and keep Agrokor companies operating normally, and consequently keep their suppliers, small family farms and all those connected with Agrokor, not only in Croatia but in the rest of the region as well, operating,” said Plenković.
Agrokor confirmed on Wednesday that its emergency administrator Ramljak had tendered his irrevocable resignation to Plenković so as not to become an obstacle to the reaching of a settlement with the creditors.
Ramljak came under pressure in late January, when the media reported that he hired his former employer, Texo Management, as a consultant in Agrokor. This prompted public debate on the consultants’ fees and Ramljak’s possible conflict of interest.
Under the law on emergency administration in companies of systemic importance for Croatia, the Zagreb Commercial Court can sack an emergency administrator and appoint a new one at any time at the government’s proposal. This court is also the only body competent for supervising an emergency administrator. The law specifies that the emergency administrator can be anyone who meets the criteria for a board member pursuant to the Companies Act. They can have deputies who are also appointed by the court at the government’s proposal.