Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.
Russia VTB and Sberbank, Austria's Erste and Raiffeisen and Croatia's Zagrebacka Banka agreed to the standstill agreement to "facilitate efforts to stabilize the company operations and ensure the settlement of trade payables towards suppliers," Erste said in a statement.
"We have a clear plan for the coming days, from a coordinated replacement of management, over a fresh capital injection to active restructuring," Mario Henjak of the Sberbank managing board told state television HRT.
Agrokor's debts - according to local reports topping 16 billion kuna (2.3 billion dollars) - are jeopardizing Croatia's economy, spurring conservative Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's cabinet to draft an emergency law on Friday allowing the state to step in in cases of trouble at large key companies.
"We are protecting Croatia's economic and financial system," Plenkovic said after a meeting of his Croatian Democratic Union party.
The largest private company in Croatia, retailer and food producer Agrokor employs 40,000 people in the country and tens of thousands more in the region.