End of an Era for Ailing Pula Shipyard: Uljanik to Go into Liquidation

Lauren Simmonds

Croatian shipbuilding has been going through some turbulent times over the last few years, with the pressure on them mounting up to breaking point over the last couple of years. Uljanik, the famous Pula shipyard, has sadly reached the very end of the line, doesn’t fulfil the conditions for continued business and will go into liquidation.

As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of January, 2020, the bankruptcy administrator suggested that part of the property not be sold yet but to have that part postponed, and that Uljanik’s property, including cranes, construction (novogradnja) 526 and other items be transferred to the company Uljanik Brodogradnja 1856.

This marks the end of the road for the enfeebled Pula shipyard Uljanik d.d., after a tumultuous period of fighting to stay afloat, it is finally going into liquidation. The final decision was adopted by the assembly of creditors of the Pula shipyard at the Commercial Court in Pazin, after accepting the assessment of the bankruptcy administrator Marija Ružić that there was no basis for the preparation of a bankruptcy plan. However, the announcement that it would continue its business through its subsidiary Uljanik Brodogradnja 1856 remains open.

The bankcruptcy administrator said that that company could be the nucleus of a new company that would continue its production in Pula. This, however, must be finally decided upon by the state itself, which is also the Pula shipyard’s largest creditor, and it should at the same time allow for guarantees to continue the work.

According to her estimates, construction requires around 500 workers and about 50 million euros to complete it. The question that remains to be resolved now is just how the state will manage to get hold of and provide this huge capital.

The bankruptcy administrator found that the Pula shipyard was being managed in a non-transparent manner, and the list of assets of Uljanik were estimated at a total of 1.75 billion kuna. Liabilities, however, were set at 5.1 billion kuna, and since the Pula shipyard does not have any current production or funds to continue with the preparation of a bankruptcy plan, it is a legal obligation under these conditions to proceed with the liquidation of Uljanik’s assets.

In the next half of this year, it can be expected that auctions of Uljanik’s property and assets will be launched through Fina.

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