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Ikea Looking at Plot in Ljubljana's BTC

Ljubljana, 08 April (STA) - Swedish furniture giant Ikea is interested in buying a 84,000 square metre plot in Ljubljana's shopping district BTC, the business daily Finance reported on Tuesday. According to unofficial information, Ikea is in talks to buy the plot, owned by insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav, for a sum between EUR 19.3m and EUR 22.7m.

While Triglav and Ikea's representative for SE Europe Igor Štefanac would not comment on the figures, Štefanac told Finance that the Swedish company was in talks with several land owners. He added that Ikea was only interested in plots in the shopping district.

Ikea, which has been looking into possibilities for building its centre in Slovenia for several years, would reportedly build a centre similar to the one that is slated for opening in Zagreb, Croatia, later this year.

It would span on a surface area of some 35,000 square metres and would provide 300 jobs, Štefanac said. According to some estimates, the investment would set Ikea back at least some EUR 50m.

Head of BTC operator Jože Mermal meanwhile told the paper that procedures were under way, "but at least a year and a half of harmonizing will be required before the construction of the centre" begins.

While the deal to buy Triglav's land could reportedly be finalised by the end of the year, changes to Ljubljana's zoning law will have to be made before the construction can begin.

However, Finance says that the municipality is reportedly in favour of the centre.

Until the centre is built, Slovenian Ikea lovers will have to stick to their hobby of travelling to Ikea's centres in Austria's Graz and Klagenfurt, Italy's Villesse, or Croatia's Zagreb, once built.

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