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Trimo Taken Over by Banks

Ljubljana, 20 December (STA) - Banks have taken control of Trimo, the Trebnje-based maker of prefabricated construction elements, with a debt-to-equity conversion completed Friday that in effect ends an attempted leveraged buyout of the company.

In accordance with a resolution of the recent AGM, several banks converted EUR 4m-worth of debt into equity, acquiring a 90% stake in the company, Trimo said.

The move was made after a strategic investor billed as the company's saviour failed to come forward by the early December deadline.

The company has ended up in bank hands because a management buyout vehicle, Trimo Investment, could no longer pay back loans.

The shares pledged as collateral were seized earlier this year by the banks, which have now completed the involuntary takeover.

In a related move, the shareholders of Trimo Investment also opted for a debt-to-equity conversion featuring Trimo and banks.

The buyout vehicle will thus be absorbed by Trimo, ending an ill-fated buyout and leaving former senior Trimo employees empty-handed.

Trimo employs a 900-strong workforce and is among Slovenia's biggest exporters.

The company posted group revenue of EUR 161.4m for 2012, down 9% over the year before, and posted a loss of EUR 2.2m compared to a moderate profit the year before.

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