Ljubljana, 11 March (STA) - The state-owned NKBM bank on Friday announced a public auction to sell 14,000 shares of bank Gorenjska banka which were pledged as loan collateral by the insolvent technical goods trader Merkur. The shares are divided into seven equal blocks (of 2,000), the opening bid being EUR 3.4m per block.
The auction will take place in Ljubljana on 23 March. To participate, the bidders need to pay a caution money deposit of EUR 100,000 for each block of shares to NKBM's account at least one day before the event, according to a call published in today's edition of daily Delo.
NKBM secured its claims towards Merkur by attaching a lien on the 14,000 shares of Gorenjska banka, which data from 2008 show had a 3.8% market share in Slovenia. Since Merkur failed to pay its debt to NKBM, the bank decided to auction the shares off.
The 25 February shareholders' meeting at Merkur confirmed a proposal to inject fresh capital through a conversion of EUR 85m of creditors' claims, seen as a crucial step as part of the court-mandated debt restructuring of the company.
The meeting marked the beginning of a one-month period in which the creditors can register their claims for conversion into ownership stakes. For the capital injection to succeed, at least EUR 85m worth of claims need to be converted. The capital raising will be implemented with the confirmation of debt restructuring, which is scheduled for late April or early May.