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Czech state reportedly selling Vipap Videm to private owners

Krško, 14 October (STA) - The Czech government is reportedly selling Vipap Videm Krško, the largest Slovenian paper producer, to a holding owned by a team of private investors from the Czech Republic. The company is struggling with red figures and the sale is unavoidable, with the new owner expected to carry on with financial and business restructuring.

Reporting the news on Monday, the web portal Siol says the Krško-based company is to be sold by the Czech Finance Ministry to RIDG Holding, which is controlled by the investment group Portiva and the consultancy IPIDC.

Established by Czech entrepreneur Iva Štasna, Portiva has constructed one of the largest networks of solar and wind power plants in the Czech Republic, and is now embarking on investments in real estate and industrial companies.

International Project and Investment Development Corporation (IPIDC), chaired by Miroslava Hrnčirova, meanwhile deals with financial restructuring and investment consultancy.

Portiva, which was established less than one year ago, is currently managing around EUR 90 million in assets, Siol said.

Vipap Videm Krško, which has been struggling with red figures for years, received a qualified opinion for 2017, with the auditing firm UHY expressing doubt about the company's ability to carry on as a going concern.

In the report, the auditor says that there is a risk, if the paper producer continues with business operations in the current manner, that it gets into a situation when it is no longer able to settle its debts, the portal adds.

This is why the sale is unavoidable and actually a required move in the process of financial and business restructuring of the company, which HIDG Holding as the new owner is expected to continue.

Relevant measures and the positive developments on the market are already producing results, which "inspires additional hope in the preservation and further development of production in Krško", the portal says.

Vipap Videm Krško last year generated almost EUR 97 million in revenue, up by 8% from 2017. It meanwhile posted a EUR 1.3 million net loss, adding to the EUR 8.8 million loss from the year before.

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