June 8, 2017 / 3:25 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 2-Croatia's crisis-hit Agrokor secures 480 mln euro loan

* New loan includes previously borrowed 80 mln euros

* Due to “roll-up” arrangement Agrokor must repay 1.06 bln

* Crisis manager says focus now on restructuring (Adds quotes, details)

By Igor Ilic

ZAGREB, June 8 (Reuters) - Indebted Croatian food group Agrokor has secured a 480 million euro ($538 million) loan, a government-appointed restructuring expert said on Thursday, giving a boost to his efforts to stabilise the biggest private sector employer in the Balkans.

Ante Ramljak said the money was arranged by bondholders led by Knighthead Capital Management and domestic banks, and the total included an 80 million euro loan Agrokor was granted in April.

He said the 15-month loan had an interest rate of 4 percent annually and could be extended to 24 months, and was agreed under a so-called “roll-up” arrangement. This means that when the loan matures, Agrokor will settle some of its other debts to the lenders at the same time as repaying the loan.

Ramljak also said the company had agreed a loan in delivered goods from suppliers worth up to 50 million euros.

In total, when the new loan matures, Agrokor will repay 1.06 billion euros, including its obligations under the roll-up agreement, he said.

According to Russia’s Sberbank, a major lender to Agrokor, a roll-up arrangement would allow new creditors to claim superiority over previous debt to Agrokor.

Earlier on Thursday, Sberbank said the commercial court in Zagreb had rejected its attempt to bar Agrokor from entering into new financing agreements on a roll-up basis. Agrokor’s debt to Sberbank totals around 1.1 billion euros.

Agrokor, which has around 60,000 employees, was put under state management in early April after it built up debts that amounted to at least 40.4 billion kuna ($6.1 billion) at the end of March. The company racked up debts during a rapid expansion, notably in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Serbia.

“This will be the last loan under crisis management,” Ramljak told reporters, adding the company should now enter a “calmer period” focused on restructuring and repaying creditors.

$1 = 0.8911 euros Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Ivana Sekularac and Mark Potter

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