(Photo: Borna Filic/PIXSELL) (Photo: Borna Filic/PIXSELL)

The council voted 3 to 2 in favor of Fortenova’s plan to refinance a 1.1 billion euro liquidity loan the firm took out after being placed under state-run administration. The two suppliers’ representatives were unhappy with the terms Fortenova was offering for the repayment of the debt owed to them.

“It is unfortunate that suppliers did not recognize the importance of refinancing for the group and all of its stakeholders,” said Fortenova CEO Fabris Peruško. He said suppliers were offered nearly 9 million euros in payment this year but said no.

Forenova plans to issue a four year bond worth up to 1.2 billion euros this Friday. Peruško said that now there were no more obstacles to going through with the transaction. The roll-up, extended last year up to September 2019, has a progressive interest rate of up to 14%.

Noting that today's vote on refinancing had "absolutely nothing to do with contingent payments to suppliers," Peruško said he was "sorry that some suppliers' representatives had assumed that their interest was shared by the interests of all of the other participants.”

Fortenova recognized 17.5 million euros in claims to suppliers, however, he argues the settlement does not dictate how that debt will be repaid, stipulating that repayment is subject to agreement based on the company’s financial means.

Marica Vidaković, speaking on behalf of suppliers, said Fortenova’s offer of 9 million euros this year, was unacceptable because the refinancing agreement contained a clause that would limit the payment of the remaining debt to suppliers, which they claim goes against the terms of the settlement.