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Maksima Holding Faces Bankruptcy

Ljubljana, 23 December (STA) - Maksima Holding, a company that played a prominent role in the failed MBO of holding Istrabenz, may be headed for receivership after two banks said they would cash in shares they received as collateral for loans, including 16.6% of Istrabenz.

If the banks Gorenjska banka and LHB Internationale Handelsbank sell the shares, bankruptcy protection would fail and Maksima Holding would be forced to declare bankruptcy, the company said Wednesday.

Maksima Holding, which is in majority ownership of former Istrabenz CEO Igor Bavcar, entered court-mandated debt restructuring in July.

The firm says it would make more sense to sell the shares in auction in order to maximise proceeds and be able to pay at least part of the claims of all creditors.

Maksima creditors have so far submitted claims worth EUR 124m. In early November one of the creditors, Daimond, filed a receivership motion, arguing that it would not be able to recover 50% of its claim as stipulated in the restructuring plan.

The firm is in majority ownership of Igor Bavcar, the former CEO of the troubled conglomerate Istrabenz, who tried unsuccessfully to use it as a vehicle for a management buyout, saddling it with debt.

The heavily indebted Istrabenz has meanwhile declared insolvency. It is currently trying to work out a restructuring plan with creditors, but a number of banks have filed receivership motions.

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