The Slovenia Times

Economy Overview



Two Slovenian infrastructure projects win EUR 15m in EU funds

Two Slovenian infrastructure projects were among the 49 projects that the European Commission has chosen to finance under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), a key EU funding instrument promoting growth, jobs and competitiveness. The two projects will receive EUR 15m of the EUR 695.1m in EU funds available for distribution.

The energy company, Petrol, will receive EUR 12.9m for its project promoting electricity-powered mobility. Multi-E envisages a regular electric bus connection between Italy's Trieste and Slovenia's Port of Koper, and the construction of infrastructure for cross-border electric mobility. The EU will finance 20% of the project.

Slovenia Control, provider of air navigation services will receive EUR 1.9m for their project, Slowam, 50% of the funding. The Commission has allocated EUR 232.2m for the implementation of the Single European Sky ATM Research, a collaborative project aimed at completely overhauling European airspace and its air traffic management that is running in 25 countries, including Slovenia.

The projects to be funded by CEF aim to improve the infrastructure for the use of alternative fuel, to modernise air traffic control in Europe and to develop inland waterways and railways. The CEF investments are expected to encourage some EUR 2.4bn in public and private investments, the Commission stated in a press release.



Sava moves to take over Bernardin hotels

In October, tourism company Sava published an intent to takeover the coastal hotel chain operator, Hoteli Bernardin, after acquiring 38% of the shares from a bankruptcy estate.

Sava chairman, Gregor Rovanšek, said Sava was acting in unison with other state-run shareholders of Hoteli Bernardin: Bank Assets Management Company, insurer Triglav and Pension Fund Management (KAD). Rovanšek described the takeover as an important step in consolidating ownership of hotel managers Sava Turizem, Hoteli Bernardin and Istrabenz Turizem. This should create the conditions for operative consolidation that would create synergy and thus increase the companies' net value. To finance the takeover, Sava owners - Slovenian Sovereign Holding, KAD and the Luxembourg-based York Fund - recently endorsed a capital injection of EUR 4.7m. Sava initially held a 9% stake in the hotel chain, increasing it to around 38% after obtaining shares from the receivership of NFD Holding.
Having published the takeover intent in Dnevnik, Sava needs to also publish the takeover bid within 30 days. The process will be handled by Alta Invest.


Photo: Kaja Kraljevič/STA


Mercator to sell some malls to Supernova

The retailer Mercator is to sell some of its shopping centres in Slovenia to Austrian company, Supernova, in a sale and leaseback deal published in Dnevnik in early October.

The retailer, which is owned by Croatian conglomerate, Agrokor, could sell the shopping centres for around EUR 200m, the newspaper reported, citing an unofficial source. Mercator launched the sale of some of its property holdings, among them 17 shopping centres in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, at the end of 2017, according to Dnevnik. In December, it signed a EUR 49m agreement to sell the shopping centre in Belgrade, Serbia. Thus, Mercator wants to obtain funds to build a logistics and distribution centre in Ljubljana and to repay part of its loans.

The group's liabilities at the end of last year totaled EUR 882m, with its net financial debt decreasing by EUR 8.5m to EUR 828m. Mercator Chairman, Tomislav Čizmić, said in April the company hoped to raise some EUR 300m with the monetisation of real estate and sale of non-essential assets. Dnevnik did not report how many shopping centres would be sold to Supernova, adding that the contract could be sealed very soon.


Tomislav Čizmić (Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA)



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