Slovenian government to turn retailer Tus into cooperative

By bne IntelliNews January 11, 2016

Slovenia's ministry of economy announced on January 8 that the restructuring of private retailer Tus into a cooperative may be feasible, according to a preliminary study on the economic viability of the restructuring.

Slovenian Press Agency (STA) reported on January 8, that Tus had outstanding financial liabilities totalling €400mn, and that it recently concluded a loan restructuring agreement which could become effective this month.

The feasibility study looked into restructuring based on a bank loan restructuring agreement, bankruptcy or sale, or transformation into a cooperative.

However, the economy ministry’s study come after weeks of rumours that the government wanted to turn Tus into a cooperative co-owned by a mix of shoppers, suppliers and strategic partners. Media reports suggested that the overarching aim would be to keep Tus in Slovenian hands and as a key sales channel for Slovenian producers.

Three types of cooperatives were analysed: one owned by consumers, one by consumers and suppliers, and one featuring consumers, suppliers and strategic partners, STA reported.

"At least as far as the economic fundamentals go [a cooperative] is a strong enough prospect," economist Bogomir Kovac, one of the authors of the study, said at a press conference on January 8.

Slovenia’s economy minister Zdravko Pocivalsek said he was confident that banks would sign up for the transformation into a cooperative. 

"We believe transformation is useful from the point of view of suppliers and in terms of sales," he said.

The minister was quick to point out that this was just a preliminary step and that the next step would be to undertake an in-depth economic study. 

Tadej Slapnik, a state secretary at the prime minister's office in charge of social entrepreneurship, said the analysis assumed 150,000-200,000 consumers would join the cooperative, about a third of the number currently holding Tus loyalty cards.

He believes the process could be completed within 10 years, according to STA.

Related Articles

Survey determines 54% of Czechs want to stay in the EU

A survey has found that most Czechs remain positive towards Europe, with 54% of respondents saying they would like to stay in the European Union and 34% stating they would be in favour of a ... more

Ljubljana unveils bills to ease Uber’s entry to the Slovenian market

The Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure has unveiled amendments to the road transport act, which are expected to create legal conditions for the arrival of California-based online transportation ... more

Slovenian public sector workers rally to demand higher salaries ahead of election

Several thousand workers from the Slovenian public sector gathered in front of the government headquarters in Ljubljana to demand higher salaries on January 24. The strike affected institutions ... more