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Cimos privatisation finalised

Koper, 18 May (STA) - The privatisation of car industry supplier Cimos was finalised on Thursday as Italian firm TCH Cogeme transferred the symbolic EUR 100,000 purchase consideration and took possession of the shares, ending months of uncertainty over the deal.

Under the terms of the deal, TCH Cogeme, a fellow car industry supplier, will first recapitalise the company with EUR 18.3m, which is already on a fiduciary account, and pay off the bulk of its financial liabilities by the end of May, when it will supply another EUR 15m capital injection.

"Not only does Cimos have a new owner, it has a new strategic partner," Imre Balogh, the executive director of the Bank Assets Management Company, told the press in Koper, labelling it "a new beginning" for Cimos.

Lidia Glavina, the chairwoman of the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), said the desire was to preserve as many jobs as possible at Cimos.

TCH Cogeme chairman Gino Berti said the first priority would be to secure new orders while Cimos would also have to be reorganised.

The sale process was launched in August 2015. In July 2016 the consortium of sellers comprising the bad bank, SSH and several banks decided to accept the binding bid submitted by the Italian fund. The sale deal was signed in October with several suspensive conditions.

One of those was tackling a damages claim filed by the Croatian bad bank DAB over Cimos's loan to a bankrupt Croatian commercial bank.

Although Slovenia and Croatia agreed on the settlement of the claim in January, Croatia made further demands concerning preservation of jobs in Cimos's Croatian plants, and in February Palladio Finanziaria called off the deal.

The deal appeared dead and Cimos was feared to be heading into bankruptcy, but media reports said Honeywell Turbo Technologies, a key buyer of both Cimos and TCH Cogeme products, demanded that negotiations restart and the two companies join forces.