Only Bid for Kupari Tourist Complex Could Include First Ever Ritz-Carlton in the Region

Total Croatia News

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Who is behind the Austrian Avenue Group?

As Total Croatia News already reported, the Office for State Property Management closed the bidding process and received one binding offer on Monday, October 12th 2015, for the development of former Croatian tourist jewel, Kupari tourist complex near Dubrovnik. Even though 5 potential investors bought the tender documentation, in the end only one of them sent a complete binding offer in this last phase – Avenue Group with headquarters in Vienna.

Minister of Tourism Darko Lorencin comment on these recent developments and said “I am not at all disappointed with the turnout since this one offer is very worthy”.

The offer itself is written on more than 1000 pages and it includes master plans and both business and investment plans. As the committee established during their first viewing, the offer includes all necessary bank and other requested guarantees, statements of feasibility and execution of the project and letter of intent from the global hotel chain Marriott International (brand Ritz Carlton) which is currently not present in Croatia or in the entire region.

“We will determine the validity of this offer in the shortest possible period and decide whether to accept it or turn it down. Even though the law gives us a 60 day period for the decision, we will do it in a much shorter period of time” Minister Lorencin announced and added ” We asked for various guarantees, a lot of the, because we did not want to encounter the same problems as in the Haludovo project, especially since in this case we are dealing with three concessions given out for a period of 99 years, concession for building rights, maritime and cultural goods. We want an investor who will develop  four and five star product, and we are very well aware that not too many investors are able to fulfill that requirement along with all the other strict requirements we had in this tender”.

When asked whether a technical government can indeed decide on this matter, director of the Office for State Property Management Mladen Pejnović answered “I don’t see why it wouldn’t be able to, the fact that we now have a technical government should have no mpact on this matter. We will do everything we can to finish these proceedings as soon as possible and to set an example for other impending privatisation processes especially since this particular hotel brand is still not present in this region. We believe that, if we determine this offer is valid, the Government will accept it and the investors will fulfill their obligations within set time frames”

So, who is behind this one potential investment group? 

The man behind Avenue Group is Sergej Gljadelkin, known to Croatian public as the investor in IGH and Hidroelektra. Avenue Group submitted the offer, and along with the letter of intent from Marriott International (in this case Ritz Carlton), they are planning on investing at least 100 million euros meaning that this 44 year old Russian businessman is indeed making his grand entrance into the Croatian tourism business. 

Segej Gljadelkin’s business empire includes more than 20 companies and the crown company, Austrian Avenue Holdings makes more than 500 million dollars per year. His businesses are spread out in France, Austria and Switzerland, core industry is the construction sector while in the last few years he has branched out into recycling and waste management.

With last year’s takeover of IGH, Gljadelkin announced his serious business expansion in Croatia. Since Croatia’s largest  design, construction and consulting company ended up in pre-bankruptcy proceedings in 2013, company published a call for strategic partners and capital increase, and just like in the case of the Kupari project, Sergej Gljadelkin was the only one who sent in a binding offer. He invested 58 million kuna and is now a majority owner with 51,3% of shares. 



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