February 20, 2017 / 4:22 PM / 5 months ago

Italy's TCH Cogeme drops plan to buy Slovenian car parts group

2 Min Read

LJUBLJANA, Feb 20 (Reuters) - TCH Cogeme, part of Italian investment firm Palladio Holding Group, has dropped a plan to take over Slovenia's car parts maker Cimos as agreed in October, Slovenian investment company Alta, which is representing TCH Cogeme, said on Monday.

Cimos, which employs about 4,000 people in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, was put up for sale by Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC), Slovenia's state-owned "bad bank." BAMC became the largest shareholder of Cimos after it took over bad loans of local banks in 2013 and 2014.

The sale has fallen through because of a disagreement between Cimos and the Croatian Agency for Deposit Insurance and Bank Resolution (DAB), regarding the repayment of a part of Cimos's debt held by DAB.

"The purchase agreement was based on expectation that by December 31 some conditions would be met. Among those conditions was a successful agreement between Cimos and the Croatian Agency for Deposit Insurance and Bank Resolution (DAB)," Alta said in a statement.

"Because the conflict between Cimos and DAB has not been solved ... TCH Cogeme is withdrawing from the transaction," Alta said.

BAMC said in a statement that it had tried to reach an agreement with the Croatian side "which has not been responding in time in spite of being aware of the short deadlines for the solution of this problem."

Croatia's DAB was not available for an immediate comment.

In October, BAMC had said the sale would raise 110 million euros ($116.84 million), most of which would be used to repay Cimos's debt.

Slovenia created BAMC in 2013 when the previous government had to pour more than 3 billion euros into local banks to prevent them from collapsing under a pile bad loans and narrowly avoided an international bailout.

The country has been reluctant to sell its major companies and banks so the government still controls about 50 percent of the economy. ($1 = 0.9414 euros) (Reporting By Marja Novak. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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