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Church-Owned Financial Firms Declare Insolvency

Maribor, 14 January (STA) - The financial firms Zvon Ena Holding and Zvon Dva Holding, which are majority owned by the Maribor Archdiocese through its company Gospodarstvo Rast, declared insolvency on Thursday due to inability to repay their loans.

Zvon Ena Holding said it has failed to meet its commitments totaling more than 20% of all liabilities for more than two months.

The firm said it had been in talks with banks since the summer on a debt workout but failed to find agreement with some of the banks, which left it with no option but to declare insolvency.

Zvon Ena's most important investment is telecommunications company T-2, which declared insolvency in late December and is currently undergoing court-mandated debt restructuring.

It also has stakes in Abanka, chemical groups Helios and Cinkarna Celje, energy group Petrol and a number of other Slovenian companies.

Zvon Dva Holding's interests include shares in Mladinska knjiga publisher, car electronic components maker Iskra Avtoelektrika, pharmaceutical company Krka and oil producer Tovarna olja Gea.

The firm had prepared a financial restructuring plan in November, which has however not brought results so far. The planned sale of T-2 has not gone ahead as Zvon Ena has not yet found a suitable buyer.

The Maribor Archdiocese recently stepped up efforts to restructure the debt-ridden financial firms by hiring foreign consultants.

Moreover, the archdiocese's chief of finances Mirkor Krasovec stepped down and was replaced by Lojze Cvikl.

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