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Sale of Maribor winery falls through

Maribor, 12 January (STA) - The sale of Vinag, the Maribor-based winery, appears to have fallen through. The company's bankruptcy administrator revealed Friday the buyer who won the bidding in October did not come through with the full two million euro payment.

The bankruptcy administrator will now call a new auction setting the asking price at EUR 1.8m, but the bankruptcy estate will keep the EUR 180,000 down payment from the October auction, Večer and Radio Slovenija reported.

Vinag was supposed to be sold to James Lukezic, an American businessman with Slovenian roots. He reportedly embarked on the venture with Maribor native Stanka Šmon, who works for the United Nations in New York.

But his white-knight bid immediately arose suspicion after several media reported he did not have the money himself since his American business ventures had failed.

The news marks the fourth unsuccessful attempt to sell Vinag, a once famous winery whose main assets include a world-famous 20,000 m2 wine cellar beneath the centre of the city and 55 hectares of vineyards on the outskirts of Maribor.

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