The Slovenia Times

Bad bank denies allegations of impropriety in biogas plant sale


Ljubljana - The Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC) has denied media allegations that its current chairman has been involved in a conflict of interest in the sale a biogas plant, saying the decision to sell was taken before his time at the bad bank. It also said it had made a profit in the process unlike what media reports suggested.

Referring to a report suggesting the bad bank sold a biogas plant in eastern Slovenia for only a third of the price it had paid for it, BAMC said on Thursday that the sale price was much higher than the internal price of the asset.

"The business unit of the Dobrovnik biogas plant as a whole had been bought through an offset of debt owned by BAMC and the only remaining asset of that claim was the biogas plant," BAMC said in a press release.

This was in response to a report by the news portal Necenzurirano alleging that Hungary's Pannonia Bio bought the Dobrovnik plant from BAMC three months ago for EUR 2 million, a third of the price BAMC had bought it for from the bankruptcy estate of the previous owner.

The Hungarian company had earlier also bought a biogas plant in Vučja Vas from Franci Matoz, who now serves as chairman on the BAMC board of directors. According to Necenzurirano, Matoz got EUR 4 million for the plant, double what he paid for it.

However, BAMC said the decision to sell the Dobrovnik plant had been taken on 15 June 2021, that is before Matoz joined the BAMC board of directors, nor was he involved in the deal as a BAMC plenipotentiary.

BAMC added that it was inappropriate and unprofessional to compare the sale and values of different biogas plants of various production capacity "where unlike other plants the Dobrovnik plant has not been operational for a long while".

BAMC said the transaction had been preceded by appropriate appraisal like in other cases of asset management and the decisions involved had been taken by its credit boards under internal rules and also involved the then members of the board of directors.

It added that the transaction had been been cleared by the relevant service for its compliance with the valid legislation and BAMC's internal rules.

Necenzurirano and Vestnik, a local paper, have reported that the transactions involving the two biogas plants will be examined by the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption for a potential conflict of interest.


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