Slovenian Biggest Bank's Management Quits Before Planned Sale

  • NLB supervisors Gedrih, Macuh, Ribnikar tender resignations
  • Supervisors see interest groups interfereing with sale

Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d. supervisory board President Janko Gedrih and members Anton Macuh and Anton Ribnikar tendered their resignations as the Slovenian government prepares the sale of the country’s biggest bank to comply with the European Union.

The three supervisors said in their resignation letter on Friday they were “apparently perceived as a nuisance and a threat” to unspecified individuals and interest groups. They were appointed about two months ago, after the former Chief Executive Officer Janko Medja stepped down citing differing opinions with the owners of the bank on the planned sale.

“Individuals and interest groups are apparently aware of the significance” of NLB for Slovenia “and are trying to control and lead the bank toward aims that are hardly correct and that would ensure a safe and profitable” business for the lender, the supervisors said in the letter.

Nova Ljubljanska Banka received the bulk of the 3.2 billion-euro ($36. billion) capital boost from the government in 2013 and cleaned their books of 4.9 billion of bad loans that almost pushed the Adriatic nation into an international bailout like those received by Greece and Ireland during Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. NLB has been at the center of political meddling into state-owned companies from various government officials and interest groups.

The country needs to sell the bank by the end of next year as demanded by the European Commission because the lender received state aid. Deutsche Bank AG was selected as the adviser to manage the sale of Nova Ljubljanska in March. The bank could be sold in an initial public offering or to a strategic partner, Marko Jazbec, the head of the agency managing state assets has said.

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