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Storied Maribor winery sold

Maribor, 06 October (STA) - Vinag, a Maribor winery that traces its history back to the 19th century, was sold at an auction for EUR 2m on Friday. The assets were brought from the bankruptcy estate by Zag, a company believed to be owned a US businessman with Slovenian roots.

The bidding started at EUR 1.8m and Zag outbid Šampionka, a company owned by prominent Maribor businessman Sebastjan Vežnaver.

The package includes Vinag's 20,000 m2 wine cellar beneath the centre of the city, a new winery in Košaki borough, 55 hectares of vineyards in the vicinity of the city, equipment and the Vinag brand.

Zag is registered to a Ljubljana woman but media reports suggest the actual buyer is James Lukezic, who had previously made public his intention to buy the assets.

Lukezic was at the auction but would not talk to reporters.

The bankruptcy administrator, Simon Prelogar, said he was satisfied with the price. This was the third auction of the assets, with the final price less than half the asking price at the first auction.

The buyer has two months to pay up. The bulk of the funds will be collected by the senior creditors, Raiffeisen bank, the Bank Assets Management Company and the state.

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