June 21, 2018 / 12:58 PM / 24 days ago

New Agrokor owners to vote on settlement on July 4

ZAGREB, June 21 (Reuters) - The creditors of Croatia’s indebted food producer and retailer Agrokor will vote on a settlement deal on July 4, a local commercial court said on Thursday.

For the deal to be approved, two-thirds of creditors must vote for it, which is widely expected. The legal deadline for the vote, aimed at avoiding Agrokor’s bankruptcy, is July 10.

Earlier this week the representatives of major creditors in the so-called interim creditors’ council have accepted the settlement contract, which includes a debt-to-equity swap and some loan write-offs.. It was a key step before the court could act on defining a date for the vote.

Agrokor is the largest company in the Balkans with 60,000 staff. It was put under state-run administration in April 2017, crippled by debts built up during an ambitious expansion drive.

Agrokor’s debt is some 58 billion kuna ($9 billion) and its current value is seen as a third of that. Its creditors include local and foreign banks, bondholders and suppliers.

Under the deal, the biggest single creditor, Russia’s Sberbank with loans worth 1.1 billion euros, would become the firm’s largest shareholder with a 39.2 percent stake.

Bond holders would own 25 percent, the local banks 15.3 percent and Russia’s second largest bank VTB would end up with a 7.5 percent stake. ($1 = 6.3798 kuna) (Reporting by Igor Ilic; editing by David Evans)

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