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Tycoon game at all or nothing: Kostić crosses Sava

The struggle to overcome an important part of Slovenian tourism is a flame. By the time of Miodrag Kostić's flight, the richest Serbian tycoon, Sava, the largest tourist group in Slovenia, has now become.

Serbian tycoon Miodrag Kostić continues her trading march with which she wants to become the main actor in Slovenian tourism. He is now interested in buying Sava, which has hotels in Bled, Terme 3000, Radenci Spa, Terme Ptuj, Terme Banovci and Hotel Bernardin.

Several sources have confirmed that Kostić wants to buy a 41.7-percent stake in Sava, which is owned by the US Financial Foundation York Global Finance Offshore since 2016.

How much Kostić has bought the stake for Americans and have already started talking about it, can not be officially disclosed. Within three days we did not receive a response from the London office of the Fund. We wondered whether and how long York intends to remain the owner of SAVE. In York, the country's largest state owner is SDH and the Kapitalska družba (Kad), which owns 45% of the shares.

Terme 3000

Who is who in the war for Slovenian tourism?

Kostic's interest in Sava is a new step in the conflict for Slovenian tourism, where three key players play:

Sava as the largest domestic tourist group under whose patronage, according to the government plan Mira Cerar, should join most of the national state-owned state tourism companies,

member, more precisely the SDH, which, according to the order of the Minister of the Economy Zdravka Povivalska prepare a plan for joining Slovenian hotels under one roof, i

Miodrag Kostić, which is in the third year of conquest of Slovenian tourism. During that time he bought the Kempinski Hotel in Portoroz, the same tourist complex in Savudrija and one third of Portoroz Airport. He also looked at the purchase of Marina Portorož, and this year he took control levers in Gorenjska banka, the largest owner of Sava.

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Sava is an important investment

The focus of this war is directly attributed to Saving, which is one of the most important according to the classification of state investments. This means that the state must retain control interest in that company, ie at least 25 percent and one share.

For now, it is unclear what would have happened that Yorke really decided to sell. On SDH, who leads it Lidia Glavina, we asked a few questions. We were interested in:

In recent weeks, Minister Zdravko Počivalšek emphasized the importance

In recent weeks, Minister Zdravko Počivalšek emphasized the importance of "managing the consolidation of Slovenian tourism".
Photo: Ana Kovač

1. Does SDH have an agreement with Savo with Kad and York Global Finance?

2. If so, what does it provide?

3. Do the companies owned by the Republic of Slovenia, ie SDH, have the right to pre-election law in York in the Sava River?

SDH just explained that "I can not comment on possible deals with other stakeholders". We will ask MK Group for a comment today.

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Two new fronts: Istrabenz's hotels and Bernardin

The latest Kostic maneuver is not random. This coincides with the opening of two new fronts in the tourism management war: the fight for six hotels in Portoroz, sold by Istrabenz in the spring and the Bernardin hotel.

As we have already said, Kostić company MK Group and Sava also got a bid for six hotels and surprisingly SDH, which clearly shows that these domestic hotels no longer intend to combine under the auspices of SAVE (led by Gregor Rovansek). When he also made his offer.

Hotels Bernardin

All this is evidence of disagreement with state property managers, which could ultimately crumble plans to merge Slovenian tourism under one roof.

As is well known, the Ministry's economy strategy envisages the creation of a national tourist holding. Minister Zdravko Počivalšek has repeatedly emphasized the importance of "managing the consolidation of Slovenian tourism" over the last few weeks.

At SDH, it has already been emphasized that it is "just one of the options". They explained that they would only examine them after the financial analysis was commissioned by Horwath and Horwath Consulting from Zagreb.

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Why are they important to Kostic?

Last year, Kostic tried to reach six Portorož hotels through the back door: by buying Istrabenz's claims that he would eventually become a financial holding company. Accounts receivable (DUTB) receivables have been exceeded, more commonly known as a bad bank, which has recently acquired most of the receivables from Istrabenz.

Istrabenz Turizem, hotels

Photo: Istrabenz Turizem

The six Istrabenz hotels (Grand Hotel Portoroz, Riviera, Slovenia, Apollo, Mirna and Neptune) of Kostic are of strategic importance. With my purchase, I would send a clear message, the new ruler of tourism in the region, and probably eventually hit the state plan associated with Sava. According to estimates, the value of the transaction could amount to about EUR 60 million.

The second part is Bernardin Hotels. Their biggest shareholder is Sava, who previously bought 38 percent of the shares from the bankruptcy estate of the failed NFD Holding.

Together with the remaining state owners (DUTB, Zavarovalnica Triglav and Kadom), Sava announced a bid to take over 24 percent of the shares, but Kostic began to mix. Small shareholders of the Bernardin hotel began to buy shares, thus preventing the planned acquisition of SAVE.

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