The Slovenia Times

Sava claims to be transferred to Sovereign Holding


This is in line with the strategy for the management of state equity stakes, which designates Sava as an important investment, Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan said after the cabinet session.

The strategy designates Sava as an important asset by virtue of its ownership of multiple hotels and spas, meaning the state should retain a controlling stake - which para-state funds already have. It also defines tourism as a strategic industry.

"The government made the decision because of Sava's important role in the economy, mostly because of its stake in tourist companies," Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek added.

The move, affecting the Bank Asset Management Company's (BAMC) EUR 108m-worth of claims to Sava, which it got at a 61% discount for EUR 40.7m, was first announced in October 2015 and has been widely criticised.

News of the plan leaked just weeks after the board of BAMC was replaced, ostensibly because of misconduct and loss of trust, though commentators were quick to point to ulterior motives, including the salvaging of Sava.

When the government replaced two BAMC board members in autumn, one of them suggested the decision was directly related to Sava, a case he described as "reeking of corruption".

In November then Sava boss Matej Narat stepped down, explicitly saying, with reference to SSH's potential purchase of claims, that "Sava's restructuring could proceed faster and smoother if I withdraw."

Počivalšek expressed expectation on Thursday that creditors would now agree on the financial restructuring plan for the company, which has to be filed with the court by 16 February.

"Should [the financial restructuring] fail, Sava will go into insolvency and that would have a very negative impact on its Sava Turizem arm as well as on the whole tourism sector," the minister said.


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