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Russia's Sberbank plans to keep stake in Croatia's new Agrokor long term

Author Maja Garaca
Russia's Sberbank plans to keep stake in Croatia's new Agrokor long term Author: Agrokor. License: All rights reserved.

ZAGREB (Croatia), June 6 (SeeNews) - Russia's Sberbank intends to keep in the long run the stake it will receive in Croatia's restructured Agrokor concern under a debt settlement deal, the first deputy chairman of the bank's executive board, Maxim Poletaev, said.

"We are happy that our conversation has become very constructive. We want to reach a settlement as soon as possible,"  Poletaev told the media in Zagreb on Tuesday evening following a meeting with Croatia's prime minister and Agrokor's crisis manager.

."We plan to keep our stake in Agrokor in the long run," Poletaev said in a statement aired by public broadcaster HRT.

Frenki Lausic, a journalist with Croatian news daily Jutarnji List, said during HRT's TV show Otvoreno on Tuesday evening that Sberbank will hold a 40% staje in the new Agrokor under a debt-for-equity settlement plan.

Lausic also said that Sberbank plans to remain in Agrokor for at least two years, and that it will begin the sale of its stake in 3 to 4 years, in consultation with the Croatian government.

Sberbank is Agrokor's largest single creditor with claims totalling some 1.1 billion euro ($1.29 billion).

According to a draft of the settlement plan published by Agrokor last month, a new Dutch-registered limited liability company, Aisle Dutch TopCo, will be established as the top holding company of the concern by Dutch administrative foundation Aisle STAK.

Aisle Dutch TopCo will wholly own another Dutch limited liability company, Aisle Dutch HoldCo, while the latter will wholly own a Croatian joint stock company, Aisle HoldCo. Aisle HoldCo will wholly own a number of Croatian resident limited liability companies that will eventually contain the operating assets and liabilities of the new group, i.e. the new Croatian subsidiaries.

Creditors will assign their claims to Aisle Dutch TopCo and in exchange they will receive convertible bonds issued by Aisle Dutch TopCo and depository receipts issued by Aisle STAK for shares to be issued by Aisle Dutch TopCo, and to be held by Aisle STAK. Consequently, the new group will be owned by Agrokor's creditors.

The proposed settlement plan must be submitted to the Commercial Court in Zagreb by July 10, 2018 at the latest. The debt settlement plan has to be approved by the creditors first, with the final say resting with the court.

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