Budamar and Tatravagonka to invest in restart of TŽV Janko Gredelj in Zagreb

Budamar and Tatravagonka to invest in restart of TŽV Janko Gredelj in Zagreb
photo: Foto: Sven Gorjanc-Fabić/TŽV Gredelj
14 / 02 / 2021

Some time ago we informed that the company Tatravagonka Poprad submitted an offer for investment in TŽV Gredelj. We bring you more details now.

Our magazine and the European railway public have been following two major cases in recent months - both involving the takeover of major Croatian engineering companies that manufacture and repair railway vehicles. Two entrepreneurs in engineering Jaroslav Strnad (CSG, CSI) and René Matera (Promet Group) founded DD Acquisition, which became a shareholder in Đuro Đaković in Slavonski Brod keeping a significant share of nearly 20%. The second case concerns TŽV Gredelj.

Gredelj, which declared bankruptcy in 2012 and since then remains is in a bankruptcy proceeding. But despite the bankruptcy, which was caused by a dramatic decline in government orders of Croatian railways and other customers, production continues.

As we informed here and here, the Slovaks offered investments of € 45 million, promised to retain existing employees and offered another 300 to 400 jobs. The offer of the company from the Budamar group was the only valid one. Along with Tatravagonka, Vjekoslav Majetić’ DOK-Ing from Zagreb and Stadler from Switzerland answered. In the relevant proceedings, Stadler itself withdrew from investing in Gredelj on the ground that it was unable to submit a legally binding offer, and the Creditors' Committee rejected DOK-Ing's offer as incomplete.

The decision on the fate of Gredelj is now in the hands of UniCredit Leasing Croatia, Erste and Zagrebačka Banka, which have the status of independent creditors in the bankruptcy of the factory and hold a debt of HRK 307 million (€ 40,5 million). The owners of the remaining up to HRK 755 million (€ 99,7 M) of Gredelj's total determined debt are the state and employees with HRK 271 million (€ 35,7 M) in receivables and groups of smaller, so-called unsecured creditors seeking to obtain HRK 177 million (€ 23,4 million).

"Shortly, it will be necessary to obtain the consent of individual groups of creditors so that we can complete the implementation of the entire project," said Ivan Petriček, one of the co-owners and a member of the Supervisory Board of Tatravagonka. It reveals that the EUR 45 million of the investment is for sure used exclusively to settle Gredelj's creditors and that the EUR 1 million set aside by Tatravagonka as a guarantee should be added to that amount. "The whole process is currently fully under the control of the bankruptcy trustee and the relevant court. A creditor settlement plan is being prepared and the methods of its implementation are being assessed,” says one of Tatravagonka's co-owners. Commenting on the prospects that the final agreement with Gredelj's creditors will be reached quickly, Petriček recalls that Gredelj has many creditors, which makes the whole process very complicated and requires, he says, some time for quality preparation.

"We are a leader in the production of railway cars for the European market with subsidiaries in Germany, Poland, Serbia, the Czech Republic and India, which closely monitors market opportunities, and the current structure of TŽV Gredelj can provide all necessary resources related to the implementation of our plans and projects," said Petriček, explaining the background of Tatravagonka's decision to apply for an offer for the Zagreb wagon factory and overhaul of railway vehicles.

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