Sberbank to Sell Stake in Croatia’s Agrokor after Restructuring

Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, will sell its stake in troubled Croatian company Agrokor after it restructures it, thereby increasing its value, Poslovni Dnevnik reported, citing the adviser to the CEO of Sberbank for Agrokor and future member and chairman of the Managing Board of Fortenova (Agrokor’s new name), Maxim Poletaev.

“Before we sell our stake, we want to restructure the company and increase its value, and one of the exit strategies is an IPO. Now is not a good time for sale and it’s better to increase the company’s value and wait for the period after 2019. In the meantime, the company needs to raise the quality of corporate management, the retail business technology, the corporate culture and the managing of the company,” Poletaev said.

When asked whether workers will be laid off in certain companies during the restructuring, he said that “those who work well can rest easy.”

Beginning with April 1, Agrokor will be called Fortenova Group and Sberbank will formally become the owner of a 39% stake in the concern.

According to Poletaev, Daniel Boehi, Miodrag Borojevic, Paul Foley, Kelly Griffith, Maxim Poletajev, Jullian Michael Simmons, Sergey Volk and Fabris Peruško are the new board members of the ”new” Agrokor, or Fortenova.

The Russian banker will be at the helm of the body which will make all strategic decisions on the involved companies. The body will decide on the selling and acquiring part of the business, appointments, and other major contracts.

Along with Poletaev as a representative of Sberbank, the largest shareholder, which has a 39.2 percent stake in the new ownership structure, Sergey Volk will also enter the body, who as a member of the temporary creditors’ council has been present within Agrokor since the very beginning of the extraordinary administration process. Both bankers are well acquainted with the opportunities within Agrokor, over the past two years they have become well acquainted with the company’s suppliers and most of the owners of major Croatian companies.