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Merkur Shareholders to Decide on EUR 90M Capital Increase

Naklo, 20 September (STA) - The shareholders of hardware retailer Merkur, which is undergoing debt restructuring, are to decide on 22 October on a EUR 90m capital injection through a debt to equity conversion, the company announced Thursday.

In line with the plan published on the website of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, Merkur would issue nearly 1.7m new shares, offering them to creditors in return for their debt at EUR 53 apiece until 10 November.

The potential investors are the creditor banks NLB, Abanka Vipa, NKBM, Gorejska banka, Hypo Alpe Adria Bank, Probanka, Banka Koper, Sparkasse, Banka Celje, Deželna banka Slovenije, Unicredit banka Slovenije, Raiffeisen, Poštna banka Slovenije, as well as household appliance maker Gorenje and telecommunications company Iskratel.

Merkur, which has been in court-mandated debt restructuring since August 2011, has been selling off non-core assets and renting offices it does not use. In the past three months, the company rented out a total of 8,500 square metres of retail space, which is to bring in EUR 1.1m a year.

Talks with banks on securing financial stability were launched in May. The need to reduce commitments was already defined before the start of debt restructuring and needs to be resolved in the next step of restructuring, the shareholders' meeting held in August concluded.

By August this year the company had repaid 20% of its obligations to creditors or EUR 18.4m. The next installment is due by the end of this year.

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