Government to Decide on Uljanik Restructuring This Week

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 12, 2019 – The government is expected to decide this week whether the restructuring of the Uljanik shipbuilding group will be launched or not, Economy Minister Darko Horvat said on Monday following a meeting with Uljanik’s management and strategic partner, Tomislav Debeljak.

“There are only two options – we will either opt for restructuring and finance this interim phase with a loan that won’t burden the state budget or the strategic partner’s liquidity, or we will opt for a bankruptcy,” Horvat told reporters after the meeting. He said that a joint proposal was aimed at a “new rescue aid loan” to ensure interim financing.

The minister said that the strategic partner has “good intentions to participate in creating a better and sustainable Uljanik with his resources of more than 35 million euro.” “However, we have to accept the fact that the deficit produced in the past 10, 12 or 15 years is somewhere in the region of between 900 million and 1.1 billion euro,” Horvat said.

He added that the strategic partner insists that all debts from the past be covered by the state while assuring that the state budget will not have to pay even one kuna for Uljanik in the future. “I’m sure a decision will be made in the next few days. If it is positive, then certain guarantees will be discussed at the next government meeting regarding this model. If that decision is not reached, certain solutions will be made at the next cabinet meeting regardless of the negative or positive impact on the workers and unions.”

Horvat said that a court hearing on a possible bankruptcy for the 3. Maj shipyard was scheduled for Tuesday and that he would try to convince the judge that conditions have been met for the bankruptcy not to go ahead.

He added that Uljanik’s possible bankruptcy could cost the state between 800 million and 900 million euro, whereas the group’s restructuring required between 860 million euro to 1.1 billion euro.

Tomislav Debeljak said he hopes the state will want to embark on healing the company and head toward its restructuring. He said that the restructuring plan for Uljanik is in its final phase.

The president of the Uljanik Group’s management board Emil Bulić said that they had received assurances that a decision would be made this week and that efforts were being made to avoid insolvency procedures.

SSSH union federation leader Mladen Novosel said that the unions expect the government to come up with a final decision when it meets on Friday whether to restructure the group or not. If it decides for restructuring, we expect the technical details to be resolved with banks in the next few days so that workers can be paid their wages and remain at the dock and finish the ships that need to be completed.

More news on the Uljanik shipyard can be found in the Business section.


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