Croatia’s Agrokor laid to rest as successor Fortenova Group begins operations

By bne IntelliNews April 1, 2019

Croatia’s Fortenova Group, the successor to Agrokor, started its business operations on April 1, the company announced. The launch marks the successful implementation of the settlement with Agrokor creditors, the company added.

Agrokor, which was Croatia's top employer, almost collapsed in 2017 due to a debt crisis. In July last year, the creditors approved a debt-for-equity settlement deal, with the biggest shareholder in the new Agrokor being Russia’s Sberbank with a 39.2% stake.

“Out of the total of 159 companies operating within the Agrokor Group, 77 companies under extraordinary administration in Croatia will be the first to go through the settlement plan implementation. Out of that, 45 insolvent companies will be mirrored and the new “plus“ companies will start their operations within the new group,” Agrokor said in March, adding that old and non-viable companies will be merged into Agrokor. 

At the end of last week, Agrokor's operating companies successfully implemented a number of processes and operations, thanks to which all of them are now operating, some of them under new names, belonging to and owned by the new group.

"Our responsibility in the entire process of extraordinary administration was extremely high, and this was also the case in this last phase of settlement implementation and transfer of assets from the old to the new company. We are extremely proud of the demanding transformation of the entire company that has taken place without problems and business delays, in accordance with the agreement among the creditors,” Fortenova said in a press release. 

Meanwhile, Croatian law enforcers continue to investigate the crisis at Agrokor. The Zagreb County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed on March 25 it has launched another investigation related to the Agrokor case, Total Croatia News reported last month. The investigation targets former owner Ivica Todoric, among other former executives. The investigation also targets the former executive VP for business and development, Piruska Canjuga, and the former director for facility investments, Ante Huljev. According to the prosecutors, the two former executives and Todoric defrauded Agrokor and illegally gained €1.2mn. The offences were allegedly committed in Zagreb and in Cham, Switzerland, in November and December 2013.

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