April 2, 2009 / 10:37 AM / 8 years ago

Trading in Istrabenz suspended over insolvency

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LJUBLJANA, April 2 (Reuters) - Trading in shares in Slovenian energy and tourism group Istrabenz (ITBG.LJ) has been suspended until April 17 due to the company's insolvency after it failed to reach a deal with creditors, the Ljubljana bourse said on Thursday.

There was no trading in the shares on Thursday but the price fell 3.46 percent to 8.46 euros in thin volume on Wednesday, the day after the company declared itself insolvent. Over the past year the share price has dropped by 91 percent.

Under Slovenian law the company has 60 days to reach a deal with creditors on debt repayment otherwise it has to go into bankruptcy which would be the biggest corporate failure in Slovenia in the last decade.

The head of Istrabenz, Igor Bavcar, resigned on Tuesday but the supervisory board said he would continue to lead the company until May 15.

The company and its affiliated firms owe some 950 million euros to 19 banks, with some 160 million euros due by the end of March, according to local media reports. Bankruptcy would be the biggest corporate failure in Slovenia in the last decade.

Apart from many local banks, a number of Austrian banks, namely Bank Austria BAWFgf.VI, Bawag, Hypo Alpe Adria and the Kaertner Sparkasse, are also creditors.

The bourse also suspended trading in a small financial company Maksima Holding MAHH.LJ, which owns 25 percent of Istrabenz and declared insolvency on Wednesday, mainly because of the drop in the value of its investment in Istrabenz. (Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Greg Mahlich) ($1=.7551 euros)

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