Ljubljana – Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH), the custodian of state assets, has given its go-ahead to national rail company Slovenske Železnice (SŽ) to buy half of coach company Nomago, the business newspaper Finance reported on Thursday. The SSH management green-lit SŽ’s strategic investment on Wednesday.
The investment will cost SŽ some EUR 30 million, which it will pay over the course of three years. SŽ will also have a pre-emptive right to buy the rest of Nomago until the end of 2024, reported Finance.
With this investment, SŽ and its passenger transport subsidiary SŽ-Potniški Promet pursue the goal of becoming the main pillar of development of public passenger transport in Slovenia, SSH says on its website.
The investment aims at providing for integrated mobility of Slovenian residents in rail and coach transport, which is needed to implement the public interest in rail transport.
Talks for SŽ to acquire Nomago started in 2019, when Adventura Holding, Nomago’s owner, said it was not looking for a new owner but was open to strategic partnerships.
SŽ director general Dušan Mes meanwhile told the newspaper Dnevnik in February 2020 that SŽ would buy 50% of Nomago with the option of buying the rest in the coming years. In an interview with the STA last December, he said that the deal would be completed in the coming period.
SŽ declined to comment on the details of the deal for Finance today beyond saying that Nomago is expected to generate a gross operating profit of EUR 15 million in the coming year and that trains and coaches will be integrated on certain routes.
Finance said the reasons why the deal had taken so long to complete was a lengthy call for concession for coach transport, in which Nomago was awarded concession for several regions across the country.
Adventura Holding is owned by Darko Klarič and his son Tilen Klarič, who ranked 20th wealthiest Slovenians in last year’s top 100 rankings compiled by magazine Manager. The pair had brought under the Nomago wing Avrigo and Izletnik Celje plus another five companies.