Supervisors of state asset custodian SHH approve asset management plan

Ljubljana – The supervisory board of state assets custodian, Slovenia Sovereign Holding (SSH), confirmed on Monday the annual asset management plan for next year. The document, which allegedly also lays down future steps in the formation of a special tourism holding, now needs the approval of the government.

In the annual plan, the SSH defines the goals in the management of individual state investments along with the expected cash flow involved.

A key question in relation to the management of state assets has been the fate of the planned state tourism holding, a project driven by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek.

In line with the strategy for the development of Slovenian tourism, the holding is meant to help bring about a consolidation and restructuring of tourism companies with state ownership with the end goal of privatisation and development.

While several steps towards a holding were already taken last year, one key outstanding move is the consolidation of state ownership in Sava, which includes tourism company Sava Turizem.

The required step is the acquisition a 43% stake in Sava held by the Luxembourg-based York fund. The SHH and the state’s pension fund management KAD fund hold a combined 46%, while all three are Sava’s creditors, being owed roughly EUR 60 million, which Sava needs to repay by the end of June next year.

According to commercial broadcaster POP TV, the SHH’s annual plan for 2021 includes the acquisition of York’s shares, but not the price at which this is to happen.

Počivalšek, who heads the Modern Centre Party (SMC), allegedly also used the SMC’s coalition membership as a bargaining chip in his effort to have the state commit to taking over Sava, POP TV reported. TV Slovenija reported unofficially about an agreement on the purchase of York’s shares in Sava on Sunday as well.

Počivalšek tweeted in the afternoon that the coalition was united in its view on this matter. “We are united in the decision that state tourism be consolidated,” he wrote, adding that this process already started in 2017 and that the purchase of York’s stake in Sava is only one step on a path started during the previous government, was confirmed in 2019 and again at the start of this year.

According to POP TV, York’s stake in Sava is estimated at between 40 and 50 million euro.