The Slovenia Times

Shareholders Endorse Merkur Recapitalisation

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Merkur chairman Bla┼ż Pesjak welcomed the decision by expressing his belief that the amount secured would enable the restructuring plan to continue in 2013.

The shareholders representing 73.11% of the capital voted 99% in favour of the proposal put forward by Abanka Vipa. The motion was also backed by the management of Merkur, who had proposed the minimum conversion of EUR 38.9m. The highest possible amount for the subscription is EUR 74.4m.

The creditor banks agreed on the proposal at a meeting last Friday but they have yet to sign a creditors' agreement on recapitalisation. Pesjak expects the accord to be signed in the coming days and that fresh capital will be subscribed for by 28 December.

Merkur shareholders had already backed a conversion of EUR 85.4m worth of claims into equity in October, but some of the banks changed their minds and opted to write off part of their claims and reduce the amount of recapitalisation needed to ensure Merkur's capital adequacy.

The company, which run up high debts following a highly-leveraged management buyout in 2007, entered court-mandated debt restructuring in August 2011.

By August this year the company had repaid 20% of its obligations to creditors or EUR 18.4m. The next instalment is due by the end of this year.

Merkur reported EUR 2.46m in net profit for the second quarter of 2012, a significant improvement after a EUR 4m loss in the first quarter of the year.

With 1,800 employees in the core company and 3,500 on the group level, Merkur expects to increase sales by about 10% this year to end the year with between one and two million euros in operating profit.
 

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