ZAGREB, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Russia’s Sberbank could secure up to 115 million euros ($135.23 million) from claims filed outside Croatia for debts owed by retail conglomerate Agrokor, the Croatian company’s crisis manager said on Thursday.
Agrokor, the biggest employer in the Balkans with around 60,000 staff, was brought under state-run crisis management in April this year after suffering a liquidity and debt crisis.
Sberbank is Agrokor’s biggest single creditor with loans worth 1.1 billion euros. The total figure for all the claims against Agrokor has yet to be released. In March, Agrokor said the debt was estimated at slightly over 40 billion kuna ($6.26 billion).
Last month, Agrokor confirmed it faced several court cases outside Croatia targeting its property.
“So far we have been defending well against Sberbank’s efforts (in courts), but even if they succeeded in all cases, they could, according to our analysis, recover some 110-115 million euros,” Ante Ramljak, the crisis manager, told reporters.
Agrokor has said that any debt repayments secured via the court cases would be taken into account in any final settlement.
Sberbank has expressed dissatisfaction about Croatia’s handling of the Agrokor crisis. Sberbank was not immediately available to comment on Thursday.
Agrokor had racked up debts during a rapid expansion in the last two decades, notably in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Serbia.
This month police have questioned former senior managers at Agrokor and two people from an auditing firm that was handling its financial reports. ($1 = 0.8504 euros) ($1 = 6.3886 kuna) (Reporting by Igor Ilic. Editing by Jane Merriman)