ZAGREB, April 10 The Croatian government on
Monday nominated Ante Ramljak to head the restructuring of food
producer and retailer Agrokor which is aimed at
averting the bankruptcy of the country's biggest private
"This (case) is a top political, economic and financial
issue for Croatia. Ante Ramljak is an expert with experience in
investment banking and consultancy. We have made sure so far
there are no major negative effects on the economy," Prime
Minister Andrej Plenkovic told an extraordinary cabinet session.
"Our goal now is to stabilise Agrokor's operations in the
coming days and the second step will include its restructuring
for which we will also seek an adviser," Plenkovic said.
Ramljak's nomination will require approval by the Zagreb
commercial court which is expected very soon.
He is expected to assemble a team of experts and advisers to
steer the process which will likely involve a cash injection
from a group of banks and the refinancing of debts to creditors
Six banks said on Monday they were working on a cash
injection as quickly as possible. The banks include Russia's
lenders Sberbank and VTB, which are
Agrokor's biggest creditors.
Agrokor owner Ivica Todoric requested the government enact
an emergency law, adopted last week, which is designed to save
big companies in trouble and protect the country's financial
system and economy.
Agrokor employs around 60,000 people in a number of
companies across Balkans, most notably in Croatia, Serbia,
Slovenia and Bosnia. Its rapid expansion has left Agrokor with
debts of some 45 billion kuna ($6.41 billion), or six times its
($1 = 7.0257 kuna)
(Reporting by Igor Ilic; editing by Jason Neely)