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ZAGREB (Croatia), May 12 (SeeNews) - Units of Croatia's troubled food and retail concern Agrokor will be sold off within the year in order to service its debt of 40.41 billion kuna ($5.9 billion/5.4 billion euro), the company receiver, Ante Ramljak, said on Thursday evening.
"At the moment we are breaking the concern up into four sections: retail, food production, agriculture and non-core units. The companies within the non-core division are likely to be sold to reimburse a part of the debt", Ramljak told NOVA TV station in an interview aired live.
Ramljak noted that Agorkor holding company will not exist past the next 12-month mark.
"Konzum, Mercator, Jamnica, Ledo and similar companies, which are generating a profit, will continue to exist", Ramljak added.
Agrokor urgently needs a cash injection but a loan should not be hard to source with government guarantees provided for in the Lex Agrokor act adopted in early April, according to Ramljak.
He added that he knew a crisis in Agorkor was on the horizon some 12 months ago.
"Having had some information, it wasn't hard to arrive at the conclusion that the entire country is endangered by the situation in the company", he said. "I had contact with the concern through Morgan Stanley, where I worked. At the time, some analyses were indicating that the indebtedness would not hold".
He insisted that politicians and the government did not know of the troubles in Agrokor until the new year.
Earlier on Thursday, Agrokor announced the concern owes its financial creditors 24.5 billion kuna, of which 959 million kuna is made up of secured debt to banks, while 13.8 billion kuna relates to unsecured debt to banks.
The company also has 7.3 billion kuna in outstanding bonds, of which 614 million kuna relates to outstanding European commercial bills due in June and August this year. Its debt on bills of exchange totalled 7.37 billion kuna as of March 31, liabilities to suppliers amounted to 6.24 billion kuna, other loans totalled 1.56 billion kuna, while provisions and deferred tax liabilities accounted for 435 million kuna of debt.
(1 euro=7.42499 kuna)