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New Czech owner of Vipap Videm plans to modernise paper plant

Prague/Krško, 19 November (STA) - The new Czech owner of Vipap Videm Krško sees huge untapped potential in the largest Slovenian paper producer and is planning to restructure production and invest in modernisation of the plant in Krško, RIDG Holding announced in a press release on Tuesday.

RIDG Holding, which is controlled by the investment group Portiva and the consultancy IPIDC, recently acquired a 96.5% stake in the company from the Czech Finance Ministry for EUR 10 million.

The remaining 3.5% stake is being held by Vipap Videm, which employs 400 people and which has been producing paper for 80 years.

The new owners see a huge untapped potential in the company. "We come as an investor whose objective is innovation and expansion of the product portfolio, modernisation of production and stabilisation," said RIDG Holding representative Pavel Svoren.

Vipap Videm executive director Jožica Stegne added that the company had significantly improved its performance in the last two years. "Revenue growth of 5%, and a raise in added value and EBITDA margin by 18% is a good starting point for stable operation in the future."

It was actually because of performance that the sale took place in the first place, with Vipap Videm receiving a qualified opinion for 2017, with the auditor expressing doubt about the company's ability to carry on as a going concern.

Stegne added that the sale "ends the very demanding process of financial and ownership restructuring which lasted for more than four years", in reference to the Czech government's attempts to sell Vipap Videm.

According to her, the privatisation creates conditions for a new strategy and vision, which would enable the company to be more competitive on the market of specialised types of paper, with potential of expansion of market share.

Vipap Videm last year generated almost EUR 97 million in revenue, up by 8% from 2017. It meanwhile posted a EUR 1.3 million net loss, adding to the EUR 8.8 million loss from the year before.

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