Prime Minister Praises New Agrokor Administration

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 28, 2018 – Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday the new emergency administrator in the Agrokor conglomerate, Fabris Peruško, and his deputy Irena Weber, whom the government proposed to Zagreb’s Commercial Court, had broad support and thanked them for their boldness in accepting the positions.

Speaking at a press conference at which Peruško and Weber were presented to the public, Plenković said he expected them, after being approved by the Commercial Court, to immediately continue with the activities aimed at meeting the legal goals of the emergency administration in Agrokor.

Asked if Peruško and Weber were supported by all of Agrokor’s suppliers, Plenković said some members of the Temporary Creditors Council applauded the candidates at a meeting at which the two were presented, while the representative of the big suppliers said she could not comment as yet. He added, however, that there was no indication of any reservations.

Plenković voiced confidence that the new emergency administration’s cooperation with everyone would be good, resulting not only in a settlement with creditors but also in a sustainable partnership between the emergency administration and Agrokor’s companies. He said it would be very unusual if AlixPartners, the main consultant in the restructuring of Agrokor, was changed but that the decision would be made by the new emergency administration. He said the settlement concept presented two months ago was “on the table” and that the government wanted the next steps to be in line with the law, resulting in a settlement, although eventually it might not satisfy everyone.

Peruško too voiced confidence that the settlement negotiations would be successfully completed.

Reporters asked if his and Weber’s hiring meant a continuity in the restructuring process. Plenković said they had not been directly involved in the settlement negotiations and that their work in Agrokor had been related to the functioning of certain parts of the group or coordination of their work.

Asked why he assumed the duty of emergency administrator, Peruško said he could not refuse the offer because the situation was too serious for the Croatian economy. He dismissed the possibility of McKinsley&Company, where he used to work, being hired as a consultant at this stage of the restructuring process. He would not say what the status of Russia’s Sberbank, one of Agrokor’s biggest creditors, would be, adding that he first wanted to talk with its representatives.

Plenković said talks were held with Sberbank representatives today. “We are interested in a solution being reached that would be satisfying for the rest of the settlement negotiations. However, this means they too must make the appropriate moves.”

He said the law on emergency administration in systemic companies might be amended with regard to conflict of interest prevention, adding that at this stage the law “has fulfilled its fundamental goal.” He said that in selecting the new emergency administration, the government saw to it that the candidates were not in a potential or actual conflict of interest.

Asked about the status of Economy Minister Martina Dalić, after Serb MP Milorad Pupovac’s statement that emergency administrator Ante Ramljak’s resignation was not enough, Plenković said Pupovac attended a meeting at the government at which members of the ruling majority extended clear support to the new emergency administration members.

Dalić is continuing to execute her duties, Plenković said, while Dalić said she had not known how much AlixPartners was paying its subcontractors, including Texo Management, in which Ramljak worked before being appointed emergency administrator in Agrokor.

As for the opposition’s demand that she be sacked, she reiterated that they should be grateful that they did not have to deal with the Agrokor problem. My goal is to do my best for this process to be completed in the way that we planned, by reaching a settlement among the creditors, preserving jobs, keeping Agrokor’s companies in business, preserving the stability of Croatia’s economy and making it possible for Agrokor to develop, increase its business and contribute to a faster growth of Croatia’s economy, Dalić said.


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