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Cimos owes at least € 40 milion to the Croatian bad bank. If Croatian suit succeeds, Cimos might end in bankruptcy even before being sold to the Italian buyer. Foto: BoBo

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Italian takeover of Cimos imminent, yet bankruptcy which might be initiated by Croatians could prevent it

Purchase money has not been transferred
9. January 2017 ob 11:14
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

Cimos owes at least € 40 milion to the Croatian bad bank. If Croatian suit succeeds, Cimos might end in bankruptcy even before being sold to the Italian buyer. Thus new orders remain uncertain.

After the collective holiday Cimos' workers are returning to work, but they still don't know when the sale of the company will be completed. The question of debt to the Croatian bad bank remains unsolved. More than 15 years ago Cimos took a loan at the Riječka banka bank for an investment in Buzet, which failed, and the Croatian bad bank DAB took over the claim. DAB demands € 20 million, and with added interest the debt is at least twice as high. The Italian buyer would like to settle, but the bad bank explains that the Croatian party still hasn't answered to their last offer. Cimos was rather optimistic at the signing of the sales contract with the Italian foundation. When asked whether the sale might become void due to the Croatian demands, the BAMC chief executive Imre Balogh answered: "Anything is possible, but we have the impression that both sides are taking the negotiations seriously. Cimos is a very important employer in both countries. I am confident that will be taken into consideration."

Italians have not paid yet
In Croatia Cimos employs 1,200 workers. The sales contract was made in last October; the value is € 110,000 million, but since the Italian took over the Cimos' debt as well, the paid sum will amount to € 100,000 mil.

BAMD explained that the Italians have not paid the purchase money yet. They will do so when the operation is concluded, which is still somewhat doubtful, as the Croatian claim is so high that it might push Cimos into bankruptcy. The workers were informed that the end of negotiation was expected by the end of the year, but obviously the agreement on the settlement is much more difficult than it was expected. New orders therefore remain uncertain as well.

In the meantime, the Italian investors are constantly present in the Koper company, as they are preparing everything necessary for the takeover which is scheduled for spring. Of course it will happen only if the negotiation with the Croatians will be successfully completed.

Nataša Ugrin Tomšič, Radio Slovenija; translated by G. K.
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