Sberbank Considering Selling 1.1 Billion Euros in Agrokor Debts

Total Croatia News

More on the Russian bank’s plans with Agrokor’s debt.

Sberbank is considering selling 1.1 billion euros of loans granted to Agrokor, said the first deputy chairman of the largest Russian bank Maksim Poletayev, adding that his bank was ready to go to court in order to reach an appropriate solution for restructuring of Agrokor’s debts, reports on April 26, 2017.

“We are also considering a possibility of selling Agrokor’s debt and are in talks with buyers on the international markets,” Poletayev said in an interview with Reuters.

Agrokor, Croatia’s biggest private company, has piled up debts worth some 45 billion kuna (6.42 billion dollars), or six times its equity, during a rapid expansion in the region, according to the latest available official data from last September. More accurate data on Agrokor’s debt is expected by the end of June, since all creditors, including banks and suppliers, must submit their claims by 10 June.

Poletayev also said that Sberbank, one of Agrokor’s top lenders, was ready to go to court to reach an appropriate solution in restructuring the company’s debt.

Agrokor’s owner Ivica Todorić handed over control over the company to the Croatian government earlier this month on the basis of the Law on Extraordinary Administration Procedure in Companies of Systemic Importance for Croatia, in order to restructure the business operations of the company.

Before the law was adopted, Sberbank in March gave to Agrokor a loan of 100 million euros and now wants the loan to get the status of the oldest claim in order to have the priority in repayment during the restructuring process. The possibility of granting new loans to Agrokor and of future negotiations about the company will depend on the status of this 100 million euro loan, Poletayev said.

He added that this loan from Sberbank had kept Agrokor in business for two months, without which “the company could have gone bankrupt a month earlier.” “That is why we believe it is appropriate to have the priority for this 100 million euro loan granted by Sberbank before we provide additional funding,” Poletayev said.

Two weeks ago, Agrokor secured an initial 80 million euro loan from five local banks. Extraordinary commissioner Ante Ramljak said the company would identify how much money it needed for business operations this year before opening up talks with new potential lenders. According to a rough estimate, Agrokor will need up to 450 million euros this year.


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