Tržič, 23 November (STA) - Peko, the majority state-owned footwear maker, has been put up for sale after the state-run Capital Assets Management Agency (AUKN) reached an agreement with minority shareholders to sell 100% of the company.
Expressions of interest are due until 3 December and the entire multi-stage procedure is due to be closed by 19 January, according to the call for expression of interest published on Friday.
The sale is being rushed to provide much needed working capital for the struggling company, and to prevent last year's EUR 6m capital increase by the state from being classified by the EU as state aid.
It is because of that that the prospective buyer will also have to provide EUR 2m in fresh capital, but chairman Janez Sajovic hopes for at least EUR 6m to finance emergency investments.
Reports suggest five or six potential buyers have already come forward, but it remains to be seen how many will respond to the call for expression of interest, which will be followed by the submission of non-binding offers.
Sajovic told the STA a buyer from the footwear industry would be ideal in order to retain the brand and keep production going.
Peko used to be the market leader in Yugoslavia and a household name, but it never fully recovered from the loss of Yugoslav markets in the early 90s.
It posted a loss of EUR 2m last year on sales of EUR 17.6m, but Sajovic says sales dropped this year.