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European Commission adopts a new decision in the NLB case

Ljubljana, 10 August 2018 - The European Commission adopted a new decision in the case of the state aid to Nova Ljubljanska banka – NLB, setting a new deadline for the privatization of the bank and adjusting the catalogue of compensatory measures. In accordance with the new decision Slovenia is committed to sell at least 50% plus one share of NLB by the end of 2018, and to ultimately reduce its shareholding in the bank to the target share of 25% plus one share by the end of 2019. Ministry of Finance welcomes the decision of the Commission.

The decision of the European Commission has been expected. It confirms the agreement reached on the expert level between the Directorate-General for Competition and the Ministry of Finance - the Government of the Republic of Slovenia approved its content by adoption of the formal proposal for a change of commitments on July 13th. Minister of Finance Mateja Vraničar Erman commented the decision: "The Ministry welcomes the decision of the Commission since it ensures two fundamental objectives that we have persistently pursued: enabling the NLB to continue to compete as international financial institution of regional importance and allowing the sales process to proceed in a way that the purchasing price and thus the optimization of the return of the taxpayers is determined solely by market conditions."

In accordance with the new decision of the European Commission, the commitment to sell 75% share of the state in NLB remains in force, as well as the privatization model that leads to dispersed ownership with the state as the largest owner with a share of 25% plus one share. The deadline for privatization is new; the sale of at least 50% of the state share in NLB must be concluded by the end of 2018, and the remaining part up to the permitted target share by the end of 2019.

The decision enables the entry into force of the recently adopted Act on the Protection of the Value of Capital Investment of the Republic of Slovenia in Nova Ljubljanska banka d.d., Ljubljana, which aims to preserve the value of the state's capital investment in NLB and to prevent the influence of the court decisions of Croatian courts on the price of the bank in the sales process. In this regard, it is very important that the European Commission also confirmed the position of Slovenia that the compensation of financial consequences to the bank under the said law does not contain elements of state aid.

With today's decision, the European Commission also adjusted the catalogue of compensatory measures, which due to the extension of the privatization deadline shall continue to apply both in the area of ​​corporate governance of the bank as well as in the area of preventing the distortion of competition. The Ministry aligned the final set of these measures with NLB, the set of measures has also been confirmed by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.


Today's decision of the European Commission means that preparatory activities for the sales procedure that have already been launched by the Slovenian Sovereign Holding Company can continue.


In accordance with the established practice the public version of the decision of the European Commission will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.


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