Business News

KAD and SOD Sell Controlling Stake in Splošna Plovba

Ljubljana, 26 April (STA) - State-owned funds KAD and SOD on Thursday sold their joint 25.05% stake in shipping group Splošna plovba to Germany's Döhle, which already holds over half of the Portorož-based company, for about EUR 60m, KAD said in a press release.

The two funds retained a controlling share in 2007 when they sold almost 30% in Splošna plovba to German shipping magnate Peter Döhle, but the contract included a put option allowing them to offload their remaining share to Döhle by the end of 2012 under the same conditions.

They decided to exercise this right in the light of their financial obligations and after a public call for bids in January this year failed to produce higher bids for the shares.

The funds have been stressing since last week that they had little benefit from the company's profit and that the sale was needed to optimise their cash flows.

Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Minister Zvonko Černač voiced the belief on Tuesday that a "wise decision" would be taken at the end between a good bargain that would be lost after 2012, and Slovenia's strategic interest to make sure the company stays in the country.

Splošna plovba chairman Egon Bandelj told the STA today that he was strongly against the sale of the controlling stake, which he believes will cause irreparable damage for Slovenia.

The Capital Assets Management Agency (AUKN) said it would not take positions about the sale, adding that Slovenia had still not adopted a capital assets management strategy and that it was still unclear how SOD would cover its financial obligations in the long run.

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