Agrokor’s efforts to avoid bankruptcy faced a further setback on Wednesday with the resignation of the manager appointed by the government to secure a debt restructuring deal.
Serbia’s Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic, said today that he did not expect Ramljak’s resignation to have any practical consequences on Agrokor’s businesses.
Ljajic added that he had good cooperation and regular communication with Ramljak on resolving practical issues of the companies that operate under Agrokor in Serbia.
“We are in constant contact with Mercator S, Frikom and Dijamant, which are Agrokor’s largest companies in Serbia. All of these companies are operating without any problems, so Ramljak’s resignation will not cause any turbulence,” Ljajić said.
Ante Ramljak, who was appointed in April to draw up a debt restructuring plan, announced his resignation on Wednesday after a meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic the previous evening. The meeting followed recent revelations that Ramljak had hired his former employer, consultancy Texo Management, to advise on the restructuring process. Last week, Ramljak told the Economic Committee in Parliament that he was ready to face the consequences if the lawmakers and the government decided that he had behaved outside of the powers entrusted to him under the Agrokor emergency procedure.
Ljajic said that the only consequence of Ramljak’s resignation would be on restructuring of Agrokor in Croatia.
Agrokor, which has about 60,000 staff, was placed in state-run administration last April. It aims to secure a deal with 5,700 creditors including banks, bondholders and suppliers to restructure its debt as a combination of new sustainable debt and equity.
(Nova Ekonomija, SeeNews, Reuters, 21.02.2018)