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InvestSlovenia http://dev.tend.si/investslovenia/ Bussiness news en.UTF-8 TYPO3 News Sun, 17 Dec 2017 18:12:21 +0100 Sun, 17 Dec 2017 18:12:21 +0100 TYPO3 EXT:news news-4854 Sat, 16 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 AIK publishes takeover intent for Gorenjska banka https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/aik-publishes-takeover-intent-for-gorenjska-banka-4854/ Ljubljana, 16 December (STA) - The Serbian bank AIK published in the newspaper Delo on Saturday a takeover intent for Gorenjska banka, Slovenia's no. 7 bank. AIK, which already holds a 21% stake, and Gorenjska banka's largest single shareholder Sava have unofficially come to a sales agreement that would take AIK's stake to almost 60%. AIK, owned by Serbian millionaire Miodrag Kostić, announced it would publish a bid for the takeover of the remaining shares within a month.

Sava is part of a consortium that put a 55% stake on sale in mid-2016. The group also includes the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) known as the bad bank, as well as insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav and Abanka where the state is also a key shareholder.

While the position of the remaining consortium members is not yet clear, Sava, where state funds hold a combined 45% and the Luxembourg investment fund York 42%, is pushing ahead, having been ordered to offload its stake by Banka Slovenije, the central bank.

"As far as we know, AIK's offer was far better than the remaining ones, bit it makes sense that the sellers be allowed to decide which offer is better for them," AIK banka's representatives told the STA.

AIK said its plans for Gorenjska banka were in line with the Slovenian bank's existing strategy.

The sales procedure is confidential but media reports have suggested AIK, the US fund Appolo, which also owns NKBM bank, and a fund owned by billionaire George Soros were shortlisted by the sellers.

AIK was seen as having the upper hand since it already owns over 20% of the bank and has been cleared by the central bank to raise its stake to over 50%. Sava owns 37.6%, BAMC holds 6.8% and Zavarovalnica Triglav 4%.

Sava was ordered by Banka Slovenije to offload its Gorenjska banka stake after it sought court-mandated debt restructuring.

Gorenjska banka is one of the most successful and profitable Slovenian banks and the only major bank to do without a state-supplied capital injection in 2013 despite a significant capital shortfall.

It had a market share of assets of 4.7% at the end of September, totalling EUR 1.73bn, which makes it the seventh largest bank in Slovenia.

In the first nine months of the year, Gorenjska banka increased its total assets by 14.6% compared to the end of 2016, while its nine-month profit stood at EUR 4.7m.

At the end of last year, the bank employed around 400 people.

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news-4852 Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Petrol group plans EUR 4.5bn in sales next year https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/petrol-group-plans-eur-45bn-in-sales-next-year-4852/ Ljubljana, 15 December (STA) - The group around fuel retailer Petrol plans to generate EUR 4.5bn in sales revenues in 2018 and an adjusted gross profit of EUR 440.5m, according to the business plan for 2018 published on Friday. The group plans to realise the set objectives by selling a total of 3.1 million tonnes of petroleum products, 178.400 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and 18.2 million MWh of natural gas.

Petrol also plans to sell 140.2 thousand MWh of heating energy and generate EUR 550.4m in revenue from sales of merchandise.

The fuel retail network is expected to expand by three filling stations to 498 by the end of 2018, of which 319 in Slovenia, 106 in Croatia, 38 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 13 in Serbia and 11 in Montenegro and Kosovo each.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) are expected to stand at EUR 170.1m, 55% of which is expected to be generated by sales of petroleum products and 19% by sales of merchandise.

The group's net profit is planned to amount to EUR 86.9m, while the planned investments in fixed assets in 2018 stand at EUR 99m.

According to the plan, focus will be on expanding sales both in Slovenia and foreign markets and operations in energy and environmental systems and on developing innovative business models and digitalisation.

Compared to the same period last year, the Petrol group improved its results in the first three quarters of 2017, increasing net sales revenues by 23% to EUR 3.3bn. Net profit was up by 5% to EUR 60.3m.

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news-4853 Fri, 15 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Insurer Adriatic seeking ways to address tough competition https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/insurer-adriatic-seeking-ways-to-address-tough-competition-4853/ Ljubljana, 15 December (STA) - Adriatic Slovenica, the third biggest insurance group in the country, has unveiled a new five-year strategy, which aims to address growing challenges on the market, including tougher competition because of a merger of two competitors. The January-September profit of the group, which is up for sale, dropped 17% from a year ago to EUR 6m. Speaking to the press on Friday, Adriatic chairman Gabrijel Škof acknowledged that the insurer, which saw its market share drop due to the merger of Zavarovalnica Maribor and Zavarovalnica Tilia into Sava, is facing another drop this year.

However, Škof stressed the group plans to improve it costs policy, and rebalance its products, develop new services and increase profitability of the existing ones. Adriatic will also introduce a hybrid distribution model, which is based on sales advisors.

While touching on the favourable macroeconomic conditions, chairman of subsidiary KD Skladi Luka Podlogar, also pointed to the introduction of a new bods fund and a real estate fund in Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia.

Meanwhile, Adriatic's parent, financial firm KD Group, is seeking a strategic partner that would buy a majority stake in the insurer, but the management would not unveil details today.

The insurance group managed EUR 525m in the first nine months of the year. Gross premiums and pension fund income totalled EUR 235m, while gross claims amounted to EUR 163m.

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news-4851 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Pipistrel gets UK certificate for microlight aircraft https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/pipistrel-gets-uk-certificate-for-microlight-aircraft-4851/ London, 14 December (STA) - The British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has certified the Slovenian ultra-light aircraft producer Pipistrel for meeting the highest standards in design and production of microlight aircraft for the UK market, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry has announced. The A8-21 certificate comes after the Ajdovščina-based company received in May a certificate of validity from the British Microlight Aircraft Association for its Virus SW 127 cruiser.

The certificate was handed to Pipistrel owner and boss Ivo Boscarol on Wednesday in a ceremony at the Slovenian Embassy in London, featuring among others the head of the CAA general aviation unit, Tony Rapson.

Slovenian Ambassador to UK Tadej Rupel said that the certificate had been given only to a handful of non-British producers, labelling it a great recognition for Pipistrel and the Slovenian economy in general.

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news-4846 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Spa complex planned in the Tuscany of Slovenia https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/spa-complex-planned-in-the-tuscany-of-slovenia-4846/ Dobova, 13 December (STA) - A spa complex with a tower affording views all the way to Venice may soon be nestling among the rolling hills of Brda, the wine region in the west of Slovenia. The idea of building a spa in Brda has been around for more than a decade, but now a design brief for the 50 million euro project was presented to the Brda local council on Tuesday.

According to Mayor Franc Mužič, interest in the investment is considerable with the most serious candidate being a Slovenian-Russian company.

The project, designed by architect Aleš Prinčič, is to locate the spa in between the villages of Medana and Fojana so as to afford views in all directions.

The design combines typical elements of the local landscape such as terraces with traditional materials.

The most striking feature of the complex would be a 45-metre high glass and steel lookout tower which Mužič says would command views as far as St Mark's Square in Venice.

The complex would comprise a hotel with between 250 and 260 beds, including apartments that would be offered to private investors, as well as a section that would function as an old people's home.

Apart from pools the complex would also boast conference halls and small shops or a market where locals could sell their produce and crafts.

The water would be pumped from the ground nearby and if necessary warmed up with heat pumps.

According to Mužič, the project won the councillors' acclaim. Depending on talks with the prospective investor, the investment would be showcased at major global real estate fairs.

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news-4847 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Arms manufacturer Arex sold to Czech private fund https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/arms-manufacturer-arex-sold-to-czech-private-fund-4847/ Šentjernej, 13 December (STA) - The Šentjernej-based military gear producer Arex has been sold to the Czech private fund RSBC, which controls around EUR 100m in assets, mostly in real-estate, production, renewables, agriculture and environmentally friendly businesses. The former owner of Arex, Ivan Kralj, has decided to sell at a time when his company is making excellent business, news portal Siol.net has reported.

Arex made more than EUR 2m in net profit on EUR 16m in sales revenue last year. According to Siol, the state has helped the company's business. Arex received more than EUR 2m in contracts with the Defence Ministry last year and around EUR 3.5m in January-November this year.

Arex, an offshoot of the former tool-making arm of industrial conglomerate Iskra, makes more than EUR 1m in sales to Switzerland, the US, Croatia, Belgium and Slovenia.

It generates more than 40% of revenue with the sales of ammunition and around 15% with the sales of arms.

The former owner, Ivan Kralj, told the STA that there will be no major changes for the around 120 employees.

The company was acquired by the Czech fund's special-purpose vehicle RSBC Defence, headed by Petr Novak and Roman Cenek. The fund, which specialises in long-term investment has offices in London, Prague, New Delhi, Hong Kong and now in Ljubljana.

RSBC already took over Zlati grič, a Slovenske Konjice-based winery, in January last year.

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news-4848 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Slovenia to host International Golf Travel Market next year https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/slovenia-to-host-international-golf-travel-market-next-year-4848/ Ljubljana, 13 December (STA) - Slovenia has been picked as the host of the 2018 International Golf Travel Market (IGTM), the pre-eminent annual event for the golf travel industry in the world attended by around 1,200 participants every year. The forum puts Slovenia among the top golf destinations in Europe, the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO) said. "We're extremely proud to be able to show our destination to the world golf travel industry, as many have not visited yet. We want Slovenia to be included in the offer of global golf tour operators as a golf destination," said the head of the Golf Tourism Association (GIZ Golf), Žiga Osterc.

Slovenia has proven once again it can compete with top golf destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Turkey, he added.

"While all golf courses in the world are beautiful, ours, ranging from Alpine valleys, Pannonian plains and vineyards to the exceptional natural beauty of Lipica, are something special," stressed Economy Ministry State Secretary Eva Štravs Podlogar as Ljubljana was announced as the host in Cannes on Tuesday.

The event organised by the STO and Giz Golf in association with the Ljubljana tourism authority Turizem Ljubljana, will be held in Slovenia's capital between 15 and 18 October next year.

The IGTM is held by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, which picks a different destination every year.

In addition to golf tour operators, golf resort operators, golf course operators and other industry experts around 100 specialised media outlets from 65 countries attend the event every year, the STO has said.

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news-4849 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 AIK reportedly picked as buyer of Gorenjska banka stake https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/aik-reportedly-picked-as-buyer-of-gorenjska-banka-stake-4849/ Kranj/Ljubljana, 13 December (STA) - The Serbian bank AIK appears to be on track to secure a majority stake in Gorenjska banka. The management board of Sava confirmed on Wednesday an agreement to sell its 37.6% stake in the bank to an undisclosed buyer believed to be AIK. The final decision will be made at an extraordinary shareholder meeting of Gorenjska banka by a consortium of shareholders selling a majority stake in the bank.

The consortium, which also includes the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), the state-owned KAD fund, the investment fund York, the bank Abanka and insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav, put a 55% stake on sale in mid-2016.

The sales procedure is confidential but multiple media reports have suggested AIK, owned by Serbian millionaire Miodrag Kostić, Apollo, the US fund which also owns NKBM bank, and a fund owned by billionaire George Soros were shortlisted by the sellers.

AIK was seen as having the upper hand since it already owns over 20% of the bank and has been cleared by the central bank to raise its stake to over 50%.

The sale of Gorenjska banka was ordered by the central bank after Sava, its biggest single shareholder, sought court-mandated debt restructuring.

Gorenjska banka is one of the most successful and profitable Slovenian banks and the only major bank to do without a state-supplied capital injection in 2013 despite a significant capital shortfall.

It had a market share of assets of 4.1% in 2016. For the first six months of this year it reported a 20% year-on-year increase in net profit, to EUR 3.6m, with total assets surging to EUR 1.71bn from EUR 1.51bn a year before.

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news-4850 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 AIK reportedly picked as buyer of Gorenjska banka stake (adds) https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/aik-reportedly-picked-as-buyer-of-gorenjska-banka-stake-adds-4850/ Kranj/Ljubljana, 13 December (STA) - The Serbian bank AIK appears to be on track to secure a majority stake in Gorenjska banka. The management board of Sava confirmed on Wednesday an agreement to sell its 37.6% stake in the bank to an undisclosed buyer believed to be AIK. The final decision will be made at an extraordinary shareholder meeting of Gorenjska banka by a consortium of shareholders selling a majority stake in the bank.

The consortium, which also includes the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), the state-owned KAD fund, the investment fund York, the bank Abanka and insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav, put a 55% stake on sale in mid-2016.

The sales procedure is confidential but multiple media reports have suggested AIK, owned by Serbian millionaire Miodrag Kostić, Apollo, the US fund which also owns NKBM bank, and a fund owned by billionaire George Soros were shortlisted by the sellers.

AIK was seen as having the upper hand since it already owns over 20% of the bank and has been cleared by the central bank to raise its stake to over 50%.

The sale of Gorenjska banka was ordered by the central bank after Sava, its biggest single shareholder, sought court-mandated debt restructuring.

Gorenjska banka is one of the most successful and profitable Slovenian banks and the only major bank to do without a state-supplied capital injection in 2013 despite a significant capital shortfall.

It had a market share of assets of 4.7% at the end of September, totalling EUR 1.73bn, which makes it the seventh largest bank in Slovenia.

For the first six months of this year it reported a 20% year-on-year increase in net profit, to EUR 3.6m.

In the first nine months of the year, Gorenjska banka increased its total assets by 14.6% compared to the end of 2016, while its nine-month profit stood at EUR 4.7m.

Sava is the largest single shareholder, followed by AIK with 21%, the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) with 6.8% and Zavarovalnica Triglav with 4%.

The Banka Intesa Sanpaolo bank, formerly Banka Koper, recently sold its 1.6% stake in Gorenjska banka to an undisclosed buyer.

At the end of last year, the bank employed around 400 people.

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news-4842 Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 +0100 Krvavec ski resort sold to private investment firm https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/krvavec-ski-resort-sold-to-private-investment-firm-4842/ Ljubljana, 12 December (STA) - The company operating the Krvavec ski resort north of the capital Ljubljana has been sold to Alpska investicijska družba, an investment firm, as tool maker Union continued divesting non-core assets as part of a debt restructuring agreement with banks. Unior said Tuesday the transaction would be completed after several suspensive conditions have been fulfilled, including clearance from the creditors.

The value of the transaction involving 98.6% of RTC Krvavec stock has not been disclosed.

Unior acquired the debt-ridden RTC Krvavec in 2004 for about half a million euros, a transaction that made sense given that the company also owns the Rogla ski resort on Pohorje and the Terme Zreče spa.

However, the last several years Unior has been under pressure to offload its tourism assets and focus on its core tooling business.

Its tourism holding has been seen as a potential drag on the planned sale of the company by the state, which is by far the biggest shareholder through the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (39.4%) and the KAD fund (5.5%).

In November Unior spun off its tourism division into a new company called Unitour in a bid to facilitate the divestment.

Unior posted group revenue of EUR 180.7m in January-September, up almost a tenth over the year before. Net profit rose by a fifth to EUR 13.4m.

Alpska investicijska družba is a Ljubljana-based investment firm founded in August last year that is in 100% ownership of the businessman Janez Janša (no relation to politician Janez Janša).

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