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Primorje Owners Endorse Capital Injection from New Partner

Ajdovščina, 13 April (STA) - The shareholders of Primorje Holding, the company that owns the last standing big construction company in the country, decided late on Thursday to launch a capital injection of EUR 30m. It remains unclear who the potential strategic partner the owners are talking to could be.

Alojz Bolčina, one of the owners, told the press after the meeting that the decision taken today meant that talks with the potential partner may continue. He would not say who this potential partner was, but the name is to be presented to the public within a month's time.

Earlier this month, all major creditor banks extended their loan moratoriums to Primorje, effectively giving the stakeholders until the end of the month to decide on the fate of the troubled construction company.

The decision taken at the meeting, attended by 84% of the capital, was supported by owners holding a total of 78%. The proposal for a capital injection from an external partner was given by the company's owners, while the management proposed that the funds be provided by existing owners.

"A group of shareholders holding more than a half of the stock in Primorje Holding said already in March that it doesn't have this kind of money. Therefore, they made a counter-proposal for an open capital injection that would bring in fresh capital," Bolčina said.

The owners moreover rejected three of the management-proposed candidates for the five-member supervisory board, appointing their own names instead: Miran Lavrenčič, Jurij Lozar and Jožef Vrabec.

Bolčina said the new supervisory board would appoint a new management, as the incumbent one failed to communicate with the owners.

The shareholders' meeting was also attended by former Primorje CEO Dušan Črnigoj, who remains the biggest owner of the troubled company. He was not available for any comments, exiting through the back door, accompanied by bodyguards.

In-house trade union head Ilija Vukoje commented that Črnigoj probably fled the meeting because he had a guilty conscience. "He is probably too ashamed to face the press and say publicly what the owners are planning to do with the company and its employees."

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