Serbian Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications Minister, Rasim Ljajic announces a meeting of the regional officials at which they are going to discuss Agrokor. The meeting will take place in Belgrade, on Wednesday.
Ljajic also says that Agrokor’s problems are a cause of great concern for the countries in the region, considering the company’s size an influence. „In Serbia alone, the company has 11,200 employees including those that work in Dijamant, Frikom and Mivela (companies that are under Agrokor). In terms of revenue, Mercator was the third biggest company in Serbia in 2015“, Ljajic explains.
He goes on to say that the government has been having regular meetings with the management of Mercator S in Serbia, and has even formed a task force that has been closely monitoring the situation. Ljajic reminds that the Slovenian government has adopted a law called Lex Mercator in an effort to prevent money drain from Slovenia that could be used to settle Agrokor’s debts elsewhere.
„At the moment, in Serbia, there is no need for such a law, but if the need arises, we are going to do everything in our power to protect the company’s employees, its stability and suppliers which number in over 660 with 490 of them being small businesses. If there are indications that the money is being transferred from the accounts of Agrokor’s companies here, than we should do the same as Slovenia“, the minister adds. What we are doing is a sort of crisis management and an attempt to minimize the damage. In terms of concrete data, the last I heard was that the company’s liabilities are in the region of 140 million EUR, the claims are around 40 million EUR, the stock is worth 80 million EUR, an the company’s value is estimated at 307 million EUR“, Ljajic says.
Mercator carries 78% of Agrokor’s operations in Serbia, and other companies around 20%. „Frikom has around 1,000 workers, a billion dinars worth of liabilities towards its suppliers, and 2 million dinars in claims. Dijamant has 750 employees, around 1 billion dinars worth of liabilities and 1,5 billion worth of claims“, Ljajic concludes.
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