Cerklje na Gorenjskem/Ljubljana, 10 April (STA) - The privatisation of sports good maker Elan appears likely to drag out despite forecasts that it might have been completed in March. The company says it expects new meetings this month with potential investors who have submitted binding bids.
The sales procedure is going "smoothly and in accordance with temporal and financial expectations," the company, based at the town of Cerklje na Gorenjskem, said on Thursday.
The statement comes after the newspaper Dnevnik revealed this week that the sale of a majority stake in Elan had been close to being sealed.
It said a US firm, WAB Capital, had offered EUR 27.5m, only to be outbid by Finnish businessman Jari Robert Koivula.
However, Koivula pulled out days after he was granted access to detailed data as part of due diligence.
Dnevnik said Koivula has appeared as potential investor in many companies, but at home he is being sought by police on fraud charges.
It also questioned the prudence of letting a complete unknown in on sensitive company details.
Despite the setback, Elan is confident the privatisation will be successful "given that the substance and amount of binding offers clearly show Elan is a strategically interesting investment".
The company is yet to reveal full results for 2013 but said it posted sales of EUR 65m, down from EUR 77.7m in the year before.
Despite an operating profit, the company posted an undisclosed end-year net loss due to interest expenditure and exchange rate differences.