The Slovenia Times

Slovenia, Croatia sign settlement on Cimos


In line with the agreement, BAMC will pay EUR 7m to DAB in 15 days, according to Marić, while Croatia will waive the right to any potential lawsuits related to the debt.

Marić said he was happy with the arrangement, because it would allow Cimos, which was recently acquired by Italian firm TCH Cogeme, to continue its work. He said there would be no lay-offs at Cimos's Croatian plants employing 1,200 workers.

"Today is a special day for Slovenian-Croatian relations," he said, adding that Cimos's agony had been solved after 25 years.

Marić also held a separate meeting with Slovenian Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek. He said he had thanked Počivalšek for his efforts to solve the issue after months of talks.

Balogh said he was happy that the new Cimos's owner would enable the company's operations to continue without disturbances.

Commenting on the developments at Cimos, he said that TCH Cogeme had already met the representatives of trade unions from Slovenia and Croatia to discuss the planned restructuring and long-term development of the company.

He said BAMC would secure the money for the debt settlement.

"Cimos can now focus on the future. The fact that we have found a solution together is very good for Cimos's future," Balogh said.

Cimos's Croatian debt stems from a claim dating to the 1990s when Cimos took out a EUR 20m loan from Riječka banka. After the bank went bankrupt, the claim was taken over by DAB. Last year, DAB filed an almost EUR 60m lawsuit against Cimos over the debt.

The issue stalled the sale last year as the Italian buyer demanded the state to guarantee it will pay potential damages related to Cimos's outstanding debt to DAB.

Although Slovenia and Croatia agreed on the settlement of the claim in January, Croatia made further demands concerning preservation of jobs in Cimos's Croatian plants, and in February Palladio Finanziaria called off the deal.

The fund returned to the negotiating table in March and Cimos finally got a new owner last Thursday, as TCH Cogeme transferred the symbolic EUR 100,000 purchase consideration and took possession of the shares.

Cimos is now to be injected with EUR 18.3m in fresh capital and most of its liabilities to banks are expected to be covered by the end of the month.


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