A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Erste Bank executive Christoph Schoefboeck said that the banks' representatives today held intensive and constructive talks with representatives of Agrokor's suppliers.

We have concluded that the banks will put a moratorium on the banks' claims from Agrokor. In that way, we primarily want to help suppliers and enable Agrokor to continue operating, Schoefboeck said, adding that this would require further changes.

Sberbank Croatia CEO Mario Henjak said that the creditors "have a clear plan about steps to be made in the coming days - from agreement with Agrokor's existing owners and management and change of the management to the injection of additional capital in the company and its active restructuring."

Asked again what would happen with Agrokor's current owner Ivica Todoric, Henjak said that it was not a question for him.

"As for the restructuring plan, (the concern) will get a new management. We still don't know specific names, we will be choosing them together," Henjak said.

Asked about the value of the banks' arrangement, he said: "I would not comment on specific amounts, but it accounts for a larger portion of the total loan debt."

Henjak said the deadlines for the implementation of the process were very ambitious. "The deadlines start running now. The standstill takes effect today," he said.

Asked to comment on the state's role and the government's bill on ailing companies vital for the national economy, Henjak said that the creditors shared the state's wish to stabilise the economy, consolidate Agrokor, put supplier relations in order and send a clear message to Agrokor employees.

He noted that employees' wages would be the responsibility of the new management.

Josip Budimir, a member of the Management Board of the Franck coffee, tea and snacks company, said that suppliers welcomed the standstill agreement and the banks' readiness to approve additional loans to Agrokor.

We are ready to join them under certain conditions, said Budimir.

He said that suppliers who had blocked bank accounts of some of the concern's companies would unblock them and that those who had not done it would refrain from doing it.

"We are prepared to put a moratorium on our current claims and agree to their being paid in instalments, as well as support this project by making new deliveries," said Budimir.

Podravka food company CEO Marin Pucar said that all stakeholders involved in the process - the banks, suppliers and government - wanted to see the concern stabilise.

"We acted responsibly today and our agreement goes in that direction," said Pucar.

Earlier in the day member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of Agrokor said that key elements of a standstill agreement had been agreed.

"Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team," Erste Bank said in a statement earlier in the day.

"The aim of the agreement is to facilitate the company's efforts to stabilise its business and ensure settlement of matured liabilities towards suppliers in the time ahead. The standstill should facilitate the company's efforts at resolving the issue of liquidity, ensuring the continuation of operation, protecting the company's value and presenting the basis for its sustainable restructuring," the statement said.

It said that successful stabilisation required coordination of all key stakeholders in supporting together a long-term and sustainable business model.

It has been agreed with the company that its management team will be reinforced by creating the post of Chief Restructuring Officer as the key person for the implementation of the stabilisation programme. During the restructuring process the top management posts will be filled by independent experts to conduct a transparent and sustainable process of restructuring, the statement concluded.

The coordinating committee comprises Erste Bank, Privredna Banka Zagreb, Raiffeisenbank Austria, Sberbank, VTB Bank (Austria) AG and Zagrebacka Banka.

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