Change of ownership at Pomurske Mlekarne

Ljubljana, 12 July (STA) - Delavska Hranilnica, a savings bank, has sold its majority stake in Pomurske Mlekarne, one of Slovenia's largest dairies, as it continues to offload non-core assets to comply with regulatory requirement.

The 60.6% stake in the Murska Sobota-based dairy was sold to RRC, a company owned by Australian-Slovenian businessman Anthony Tomažin, for an undisclosed price.

The trade union-controlled Delavska Hranilnica became the majority owner after it bought claims from NLB bank and converted them into equity, which helped the dairy avert bankruptcy and successfully complete debt restructuring.

Pomurske Mlekarne posted net sales of EUR 33.4m in 2016, the latest year for which data is publicly available, down 3% year-on-year, while net profit declined by roughly a third to EUR 1.2m.

Media have reported that Delavska Hranilnica was forced into the sale by the central bank, which has long been concerned about the fast-growing savings bank's capital base.

Delavska Hranilnica said the new owner had committed to support the development of the dairy and planned additional investments in the modernisation of production.

RRC owns two popular bars in the centre of Ljubljana and the Vogel ski resort in Gorenjska. It remains unclear whether it will try to buy out the remaining shareholders.