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Croatia's Fortenova gets approval to issue 1.2 bln euro bond to refinance debt

Author Iskra Pavlova
Croatia's Fortenova gets approval to issue 1.2 bln euro bond to refinance debt Photo: All Rights Reserved

ZAGREB (Croatia), July 29 (SeeNews) - Croatia's Fortenova Group, the successor to failed Agrokor concern, said its shareholders and depository receipts (DR) holders have given the green light to its plan to issue up to 1.2 billion euro ($1.33 billion) bond to finance maturing debt.

The new financing, which is structured as a four-year bond with a 7.3% interest rate plus EURIBOR with 1% floor, will be led by US-based investment firm HPS Investment Partners, Fortenova said in a statement on Friday.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of August with the new funds aimed at refinancing the group's current super-priority facility agreement signed in June 2017.

“The General Assembly vote proved that the majority of our shareholders recognized the importance of this new financing for Fortenova Group in terms of securing our mid-term financial stability as well as long-term sustainability, growth and development," Fortenova CEO Fabris Perusko said in the statement.

 "Fortenova Group is now focused on closing the transaction after which we will enter a new stage of our business operations that will be focused on increasing profitability, improving performance and creating additional value to all stakeholders,” he added.

Fortenova has said that one of its owners and present-day creditors, Russia's VTB Bank, will also participate in the new financing facility.

Foretnova has also said that the estimated January-June revenue of its key companies rose 2% on the year to 1.53 billion euro, while the estimated EBITDA in the six-month period was up 5% to more than 101 million euro.

Back in June 2017, Croatia's troubled food-to-retail concern Agrokor signed a roll-up financing arrangement of up to 1.06 billion euro with over 30 creditors. US-based hedge fund Knighthead Capital was the top lender under the agreement, contributing 200 million euro, or 20.83% of the total initial amount provided back then. The second biggest lender was Russia's VTB Bank with 181.5 million euro, followed by the Croatian unit of UniCredit Group, Zagrebacka Banka, with 180 million euro.

The business operations of troubled Agrokor were transferred to newly formed Fortenova Group in April 2019 under a settlement agreement with creditors endorsed by a Zagreb court in June 2018. Under the settlement agreement a new business entity held by the creditors was established, in which the largest individual shareholder became Russia's Sberbank with a 39.2% stake. Along with Sberbank, the new owners include holders of Agrokor bonds with a 24.9% stake, Croatian financial institutions with 15.3%, VTB with 7.5%, and suppliers with 4.7%.

($=0.898780 euro)

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