Indebted Agrokor says its assets worth less than creditors’ claims


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ZAGREB, March 14 (Reuters) – Stricken Croatian food group Agrokor’s assets are worth between 1.8 and 3.8 billion euros ($2.2-$4.7 billion), it said on Wednesday, far short of the claims made by creditors and signalling they face hefty losses.

Agrokor, the largest private company in the Balkans with some 60,000 staff, was put under state-run administration last April for 15 months after an overly-ambitious expansion drive left it weighed down by borrowings.

Claims against the company, including those still subject to dispute, total about 58 billion kuna ($9.6 billion). Creditors include foreign and local banks, bondholders and suppliers.

Agrokor’s crisis management team said last week it expected to have debt settlement terms ready by April 10..

A settlement must be reached by July 10 if the company is to avoid bankruptcy.

Agrokor said its most valuable asset was water and soft drinks producer Jamnica, estimated to be worth between 393 and 577 million euros. Its Konzum retail chain is valued at between 140 and 336 million euros.

“A value for each of the companies (within Agrokor) is given within a range of the lowest and highest estimated value,” Agrokor said in a statement.

The restructuring process with creditors aims to put Agrokor back on a sustainable debt and equity footing, which is likely to include creditors taking over parts of the business and some write-offs.

Up to around 1.5 billion euros worth of claims will not be written off, including loans with adequate collateral and a liquidity loan from last summer taken to enable the company to stay afloat.

($1 = 6.0136 kuna)

$1 = 0.8086 euros
Reporting by Igor Ilic
Editing by Mark Potter


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