EBRD to enter Croatian marina operator ACI via EUR 100mn capital hike

By bne IntelliNews February 25, 2014

The EBRD is entering the ownership of one of the largest marina operators on the Adriatic Sea - Adriatic Croatia International Club (ACI), via injecting EUR 100mn in the company’s capital, Croat transport minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic was quoted as saying by portal SEEbiz.

Doncic was speaking on the sidelines of EBRD’s forum on Investing in the West Balkans held earlier this week in London. He said the EBRD capital will be certainly important for ACI’s investment cycle.

The report comments that Doncic’s statement actually demonstrates a turnaround in the government’s plans as a majority shareholder in ACI. As previously speculated, Croatia was rather unwilling to accept the EBRD as a partner in ACI as the Bank cooperates with Turkey’s Dogus Group. Dogus has already invested in marinas on the Croatian Adriatic coast and has a small stake in ACI as well. Yet, the Croatian government allegedly fears the EBRD might later on sell its holdings to Dogus - and the state does not want to see such a strong competitor acquiring a significant stake in ACI as well.

Croatia through government agencies owned around 78.5% of ACI at end-2013, followed by the Croatian subsidiary of Dogus Group with 6.92%.

According to ACI’s investment plan, the company needs fresh capital worth EUR 220-250mn and domestic pension funds already demonstrated interest in its recapitalisation. The report says that the company’s current value still has to be evaluated.

At end-2013, ACI operated 21 marinas with around 6,000 berths. According to Croatia’s new tourism development strategy, ACI's berth capacity should be increased by new 5,000 berths, estimated to cost EUR 200mn.

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