The Slovenia Times

Elan to get a new, strategic owner


Speaking to reporters at the company's headquarters in Begunje na Gorenjskem on Thursday, Elan CEO Jeffrey Tirman said that several interested parties had expressed interest in acquiring the company or individual divisions in recent months.

He believes the interest is the result of the company's good performance and fast growth in recent years and Elan's reputation for quality and innovativeness.

After discussing the matter with the owners, Elan decided to hire financial consultancy Freitag & Co. in a bid to examine the interest expressed and explore the available opportunities.

Tirman added that Elan expected to complete one or several transactions before the end of the year.

He would not disclose more about the prospective buyers except for saying that Elan or its divisions were being eyed by several companies or groups. He expects the new owner to be a strategic one.

Elan was bought from state owners in July 2015 by Wiltan Enterprises of the financial fund VR Capital and Merrill Lynch International.

Tirman said that the current owners as a rule kept ownership of the company they invested in for between three and five years and sold it on once they increased its value.

Since 2015 the owners have reinvested almost EUR 10m in Elan, Tirman said, adding that despite fears of layoffs under the new financial investor, Elan's headcount had in fact increased to some 800.

Elan reported EUR 82.5m in group revenue for last year, an increase of 15% over the year before, as well as an increase in operating profit, without specifying.

"2017 was a successful year for Elan," Tirman said, adding that the ski division had a fantastic year and was looking at another good year.

The wind turbines division is having some problems at the moment after an excellent year, while the nautical division had a rough year in 2017 and is now doing great, he said.

The head of the company's in-house union DuĊĦan Ferjan confirmed that the management had informed them about the planned sale.

"The workers expect that if we get a new owner it should be a strategic partner who has the right interest," Ferjan said, adding that the workers wanted the company to be sold and kept as a whole.

Tirman told reporters that the easiest way would be to sell Elan as a whole, but that he had no influence over that because the sale would depend on the amount of bids.


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