Russian state-owned banks will receive almost half of Croatia's largest retailer

Russian state-owned banks will receive almost half of Croatia's largest retailer. Agrokor's debt is settled on the eve of the quarterfinals of the Russian-Croatian World Cup. There are very few doubts in its outcome.
Hearings on the settlement of the debt of the largest private company in the Balkans, the Croatian food retailer Agrokor, began on Wednesday morning at the basketball stadium in Zagreb. They were called by 3069 creditors of the company - all those who made claims to it, but did not receive a refund.

About a quarter of the debt falls on Russian state-owned banks. Sberbank Agrokor should about 1.1 billion euros, VTB - about 300 million euros.

Owners of 80% of the debt voted for the deal, which will transfer the company to creditors and bondholders, by 33.8 billion kuna (4.6 billion euros), including Sberbank, Reuters reported.

 Sberbank as a result of restructuring will become the largest owner of the company with a share of 39%, VTB will have about 7%. Until recently Agrokor was Croatia's largest private company. As of the beginning of 2016, 60,000 people worked for it, the group's revenue in 2015 was 6.6 billion euros, and net profit was 175 million euros. But it turned out that the group's reporting is unreliable, it has nothing to pay with banks and suppliers. Croatia adopted a special law to support the company - its collapse would cause a recession in the country.

Sberbank is pleased with the decision of creditors, according to which it will become the owner of 39% of the depositary receipts of the holding, said the representative of the bank, the court must agree on the approved plan until July 10.

VTB also voted "for", the bank said in response to Vedomosti's request: "As a result of this plan, VTB's stake in Agrokor will be around 7%. We are interested in the growth of the company's capitalization and the return of debts. "

 The preliminary cost of the company is 1.8-3.8 billion euros, follows from the March presentation of Agrokor. Sberbank, for which retail is a non-core business, will first have to work with Agrokor, and then look for the core investors, says Deloitte partner Yegor Metelkin. Restoring the retailer's business will require time and resources, including from Sberbank, to get the opportunity to sell this package, he notes. "In European local markets, in addition to local networks, as a rule, the positions of large companies operating in several markets of the region are strong, they often dominate in individual countries," the expert says. "Therefore, first of all, large European networks may be interested in buying Agrokor's business."

On the financial results of the Savings Bank transaction is unlikely to affect. "Agrokor's debt to Sberbank last year was well enough reserved, and it will not have any significant impact on profit or equity," Fitch analyst Dmitry Vasiliev explains. A possible return of a part of the debt the bank will be able to write to itself in profit.

In Sochi, on the stadium "Fisht" on July 7, the quarterfinal match of the 2018 World Cup will take place in the national football team of Russia and Croatia. The Croatian team arrived in Sochi on Monday, July 2, the Russian team will arrive on July 5.