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Banks Selling Logistics Company Intereuropa

Koper/Ljubljana, 29 January (STA) - Banks holding a joint 67.8% stake in Intereuropa following a debt-to-equity conversion have decided to sell the Koper-based logistics company. The sellers, among them two state-owned banks, have picked Lazard and Raiffeisen Centrobank as advisers in the sale.

Ownership stakes are being offloaded by the state-owned SID (18%) and NLB banks (17.4%), Gorenjska banka (11.2%), Raiffeisen banka (10.4%), SKB (8.2%) and Banka Koper (2.7%), Intereuropa, which was notified about the contract of mandate with the advisers on Wednesday, said in a press release.

The banks became owners after a EUR 18.4m worth debt to equity conversion, which was confirmed in June last year and completed the financial restructuring of the company.

The state-owned bank NKBM converted EUR 1.2m worth of Intereuropa debt to equity then as well but transferred the shares to the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) or bad bank on 20 December.

Divestment, recapitalisation with a conversion of part of the company's debt and a long-term reprogramming of the rest have been executed as part of financial restructuring at Intereuropa.

This reduced the debt considerately and put in place conditions for stable financial operations, the company wrote at the end of 2012.

Intereuropa has been struggling for years to turn a corner following questionable business decisions by former executives who are now being sued for damages.

Its decline has been mirrored on the stock market, although the value of Intereurpa's share roughly doubled in the last month to 90 cents. The share peaked at EUR 51 in mid-2007.

The entire Intereuropa group, consisting of a dozen associated companies in nine countries, according to the company's web page, employed 1,648 people at the end of June 2013 but announced additional layoffs of around 200 workers by the end of the year.

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