Terme Maribor Sold to Russians


NFD Holding said Monday it sold its 72.01% stake and Sava, the chemicals-through-tourism conglomerate, offloaded its 14.56% stake, as the indebted firms continue to disinvest in order to shore up their finances.

The transaction had been in the pipeline for months but was delayed as Platanus made a EUR 1.5m downpayment but failed to follow through with the rest of the money.

As talks dragged on, a second potential investor, British venture capital fund VIYM, made a binding offer but dropped the deal last week, citing failure to complete the negotiations.

Platanus was incorporated in Maribor in 2010 and is owned by Russian citizen Olga Lopayeva, according to the daily Dnevnik. Its director is another Russian, Oleg Derkach.

Terme Maribor is the biggest tourism company in the Maribor region. It owns multiple hotels, travel shops at border crossings and a medical centre.

It posted revenue of EUR 42.5m in 2010 and a loss of EUR 320,000. The company has not yet posted results for 2011 but a spokesperson has told the STA that 2011 had been "successful".

Chief executive Zora Bošković said in a written statement he expected the new majority owner to convene a meeting of shareholders shortly and appoint a new supervisory board.

According to Bošković, the sale caps a process that took "too long and caused significant problems for the company". He is convinced the new owners will frame their own strategy, making it "easier to achieve the business goals".