The former Agrokor conglomerate's Temporary Creditors' Council on Wednesday voted for refinancing a roll-up loan with three votes from representatives of financial creditors, while suppliers' two representatives voted against, Fortenova Group CEO Fabris Perusko said.
"Since the decision was supported by the majority, we will continue doing what is still necessary to finish refinancing the SPFA loan with a bond on Friday. Now there is no obstacle any more to successfully concluding the transaction, whereby we will meet one of the important conditions and tasks under the settlement reached by Agrokor's creditors, which is to refinance the SPFA loan," Perusko told reporters.
He said today's vote had "absolutely nothing to do with the conditional payment of suppliers" and that he was "sorry that some supplier representatives put their own interest before the interests of every other stakeholder in this process."
"I'm sorry they didn't recognise the importance of the refinancing for the future of Fortenova Group and all its stakeholders, including suppliers," said Perusko.
According to him, the group has raised its offer for border debt payments this year to €9 million after the initial offer of €5 million was turned down.
He recalled that the group had put the border debt at €17.5 million and that "the settlement in no way envisages the pace of its payment. It's subject to agreement based on payment possibilities."
"We did everything we could to reach an agreement. Unfortunately, it didn't happen, but the most important thing is that the refinancing hasn't been brought into question," Perusko said.
The Fortenova Group will refinance the June 2017 roll-up loan by issuing a four-year bond in the amount of €1.2 billion at 7.3% interest plus EURIBOR. The €1.06 billion loan was taken to cover the debts of the former Agrokor food and retail chain.
Suppliers' rep says settlement is holy scripture for them
Asked by the press before today's vote about her opinion on refinancing the roll-up, Maria Vidakovic said on behalf of suppliers she represented the stand of the interest group whose settlement rights could be undermined. "The settlement is holy scripture for us."
Asked if the refinancing could be voted up despite suppliers' objections, she said it could but that there was a legal remedy for everything. "We'll see whether we'll take legal or some other action."
Asked about the interest rate on the refinancing, Vidakovic said it was "absolutely too high" considering the collateral and that nowadays companies could be financed with 1% interest.