Marina Portorož finally with a new Slovenian owner

Portorož – Marina Portorož finally has a new owner, as the spa operator Terme Čatež announced on Wednesday the sale had been finalised, while not disclosing the buyer. The consultancy firm participating in the procedure meanwhile said it is Luka Lucija, a company owned by the Slovenian investment fund Cirus 1.

Terme Čatež said in a press release that “all contractual suspensive conditions in the procedure of sale of the outright stake in the company Marina Portorož have been fulfilled and the transfer of shares on the buyer was made on 4 May.”

While the seller did not disclose the buyer, the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, which participated in the sale, said it was Luka Lucija, a holding company based in Ljubljana.

It has taken over the entire business of the operator of the Portorož marina which includes the operation of around 1,000 berths, infrastructure for maintenance of vessels, as well as accommodation, hospitality, sport and commercial facilities.

“The new owner plans to overhaul and modernise Marina Portorož, revive its business and place it again among the most important and most renowned marinas in the region,” PricewaterhouseCoopers said in a press release.

Meanwhile, Marina Portorož announced “ambitious plans” for the marina: “By the end of 2022 we have a commitment of a million euro investment in infrastructure”.

The release, announcing that Luka Prebil had been appointed director of what is the largest marina in Slovenia, said the goal was to make Marina Portorož an attractive nautical destination year-round.

“The marina’s long-term development plan aims mainly to upgrade the existing infrastructure, improve customer satisfaction and expand the offerings in the marina, and the coastal towns and the hinterland.”

In the first stage, plans involve urgent renovation work, the greening of the surroundings and a comprehensive digital transformation of the marina. Also planned are culinary offerings.

“Apart from investments in basic infrastructure, a programme is afoot to improve client satisfaction that is closely linked to employee training,” reads the release.

The blue flag concept will also be pursued with the long-term goal being to create a sustainable, environmentally-friendly business environment.

While the value of the deal remains confidential, the public broadcaster TV Slovenija reported on Tuesday that JoanthanMars, the alternative investment fund management firm that owns Cirus 1, had paid EUR 15-20 million for the marina.

JonathanMars is owned by the company UR Invest, whose owner is Uroš Raspet, a co-owner and a senior official at the Vzajemci group.

The sale had been announced earlier this year by the head of Terme Čatež and its owner, the publisher DZS, Bojan Petan, who said the move was coordinated with the York fund, the DZS’s main creditor, according to the newspaper Primorske Novice.

The sale of Marina Portorož was a part of the DZS’s agreement with creditors on financial restructuring. York had purchased claims to the company from the Gorenjska Banka bank and the state-owned bad bank BAMC.

Terme Čatež had been selling the marina operator for a while, and a fresh sale procedure started last August and bids were accepted until the second half of September.

A while ago the marina was to be sold to Adventura Holding and the company Glen, but the deal went sour over disagreements on the price.