The Slovenia Times

Tourism holding Sava completes restructuring


Speaking to the STA, Sava CEO Gregor Rovanšek said that the efforts had produced Slovenia's largest tourism group, which is projected to post a profit for the fourth year running.

Revenue is forecast to top EUR 100 million this year with the number of overnight stays to reach 1.5 million, Rovanšek said.

Debt decreased from EUR 230 million to just over EUR 50 million. Sava's assets exceed EUR 150 million, which means a potential sale of strategic investment would allow repayment of all debt.

A decision on whether Sava should be preserved or liquidated and the assets sold will be taken by the creditors which took over the company in a debt-to-equity swap three years ago - the state-run Slovenian Sovereign Holding and Pension Fund Management, and York Global Finance Offshore fund.

Rovanšek says that Sava has completed all activities under the restructuring plan and will meet all its commitments under the compulsory settlement.

"The creditors-owners have recognised that as well," Rovanšek said, adding that they agreed to defer the payment of their remaining claims by five months to the end of April 2020.

"Investors too have expressed their interest in the group's further development as indicated in the ongoing process of refinancing in the market," the CEO said.

Sava's fate will depend on the plans to establish a state hospitality holding to pool state-owned tourism assets, including Istrabenz Turizem and Thermana now managed by the Bank Assets Management Company.

"Sava is definitely fit to manage tourism assets, but it's up to the owners whether this role of Sava will be recognised in the future," said Rovanšek.

The holding has a 99.91% stake in hotel manager Sava Turizem and a 84.82% stake in Hoteli Bernardin, which puts its combined market share at around 11%.

The whole group will allocate EUR 40 million for investment next year, for which financing has been secured, Rovanšek said, noting the significance of investment in light of the national tourism strategy.

He also noted past investment, including in hotels at the lakeside resort of Bled and spa towns of Moravske Toplice and Radenci and at Bernardin hotels on the coast.

"We've been investing above the industry average. It's key to further growth, but profitability needs to be taken care of too," Rovanšek said.

Asked about the EUR 300,000 fine imposed on Sava for belated sale of its stake in the bank Gorenjska Banka, Rovanšek said the company appealed against the decision because it deemed it unfair.


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