Sunday, 22 May 2022

Company Invests €6.6m in Microalgae Production in Croatia

ZAGREB, 22 May 2022 - The company called Phyox, specialised in production of microalgae, substances rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids, has invested 6.6 million euros in a microalgae production project in the city of Novska, the Večernji List daily reported on Sunday.

The project will enable the commercial production of microalgae for the pharmaceutical industry.

The project has already gone through the stages of laboratory tests and trial production and the production of microalgae for commercial purposes is expected to start soon. 

There are plans to produce 40 tonnes annually.

According to the information on the web site of this company owned by four Croatian and German partners, "Phyox d.d. was created by combining the competences, experience and resources of its founders who after many years of technology development, decided to implement their microalgae production project in Croatia."

"Microalgae (Phytoplankton) are microorganisms that produce oxygen (Oxygenium) through photosynthesis, which is how the name Phyox was created."

Microalgae are with over two billion years of existence considered to be the oldest living cellular organisms on Earth.

The Večernji List daily quoted the company's  senior executives Franjo Orešković and Bernd Hermann as saying that the project was well accepted by the local authorities in Novska, during the mayorship of Marin Piletić.

Therefore, the company decided to set up the project in the industrial zone of Novska, 90 kilometres east of Zagreb.

Phyox is focused on the production of microalgae suitable for use in the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Hungarian Meszaros Investing 375 Million Kuna into Luxury Icici Hotel

May the 16th, 2022 - The Hungarian Lorinc Meszaros is investing an enormous 375 million kuna into a luxury Icici hotel which will transform this picturesque area and raise the overall tourism standard.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the construction of the luxury hotel Riva’s Hotels & Resorts in Icici has started, a project worth 375 million kuna in which the well known Hungarian investor Lorinc Meszaros is investing, together with the local developer the DDG Group.

This gorgeous new luxury Icici hotel will have a 5 star ranking and will boast 180 rooms and 12 villas. The laege project also includes the construction of an access road, a pedestrian bridge to the nearby sea, and a new rainwater drainage system from Ucka.

“I immediately recognised this location as a potential site for the construction of a hotel, so I called Meszaros for help. It's a 22,000 square metre gross developed project, with an underground garage with five above-ground floors, with an open space near the road arranged for all Icici locals as well as all of our future guests. We plan to arrange some surrounding greenery, and put in fountains and cafes. With this project, Icici will get a taste of luxury tourism and an urban square as a gathering place. We've been struggling with projects for three years, and we now have 24 months until the grand opening,'' said Denis Sikljan, the founder of the DDG Group.

Lorinc Meszaros pointed out that, after the football camp in Osijek, this is their biggest investment in the Republic of Croatia.

“I've always wanted to invest in building a hotel. Thanks to the designers for a beautiful building, but without the local authorities and the help of the mayor, none of this could have happened. Our cooperation with the local community is good, and we're trying to make it even better. With the purchase of Miramar and Riva’s Hotels & Resorts, our investments amount to 100 million euros and what I can promise you is that we won't just be stopping here,'' said the Hungarian entrepreneur and investor at the opening ceremony of the construction site of the up and coming luxury Icici hotel, which was also attended by Opatija Mayor Fernando Kirigin.

“When I ran for mayor of Opatija, my vision was Opatija which boasted elite tourism and value-added products. It was up to us as a local self-government unit to give our full support to this project. The tourist season is just around the corner, we've already reached about 200 thousand overnight stays and I hope that we will be better than we were back during the record year of 2019, which will undoubtedly give investors more confidence in it all,'' said Kirigin.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

Italian ABS Investing 200 Million Euros in Sisak Ironworks

April the 28th, 2022 - The Italian ABS is investing a massive 200 million euros into the once rather problematic Sisak ironworks according to recent Italian media publications.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, the once somewhat troublesome Croatian steel plant in Sisak will soon get a large cash injection according to Italian media, which have reported that the executive board of the ABS Group, owned by ABS Sisak, approved the company's investment programme worth a total of 400 million euros, and part includes the construction of a new iron rolling mill in Sisak.

The Italian company announced that this is a large and revolutionary project, a kind of milestone in the production of steel, which, with the technological breakthrough will be of great importance in the context of energy transition.

Danieli Digital Melter's new steel melting technology should enable the direct use of renewable energy sources, and according to the announcements, instead of a conventional electric furnace, solar energy will be used by installing 160,000 square metres of solar panels, which will make ABS a leader in green steel production. The Italian metallurgical company, which is owned by the Italian industrial giant, the Danieli Group, revealed that this ambitious project for the Sisak ironworks will be realised over a three year period.

Danieli decided to enter the investment venture of ABS in response to the sharp increase in demand for steel across Europe, and major changes on the global steel market, which began being felt before the war in Ukraine broke out. Following the Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, a complete turnaround and a return of steel production in the EU and the USA took place. Danieli has been encouraging research and development activities for years now, looking more deeply into so-called green steel, through carbon reduction, and even the preparation of the use of hydrogen in production, and over recent years, ABS has invested in the modernisation of its production over one billion euros.

This will not be the first investment in the Sisak ironworks, ie this particular "unit" of ABS, about which the details aren't yet being revealed when it comes to the specific investment in the new rolling mill.

Davor Sosic, President of the Management Board of ABS Sisak, who took over the management a month ago, pointed out that two years ago, a new innovative digital power system, Q-One, worth 10 million euros, was installed at the Sisak ironworks. Sosic explained that this represented a huge step forward for the Sisak ironworks in general, which is a large consumer of energy, and the existing system has caused difficulties and a decline in the electricity network.

It is a prototype, which will be used by ABS in Italy, whose main effect is not to reduce electricity consumption, but primarily to improve overall system efficiency.

The owner of the Sisak ironworks decided to enter this investment in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, when the steel market slowed down worldwide. Sosic also pointed out that 5.6 million euros were invested in the renovation of the continuous iron casting plant, which was completely obsolete, and this year, the electric arc furnace is being replaced, which is an investment worth more than six million euros.

"We're continuously trying to raise the technological level of the plant and our goal is to increase our existing annual production,'' stated Sosic, adding that it is expected that this level will be exceeded with the new rolling mill. It's worth noting that the Italian ABS currently produces about 1.2 million tonnes of steel per year, and it is estimated that it will double this production after the new investment is completed.

This new investment venture in the Sisak ironworks should significantly transform production there, as the plants are now producing semi-finished products. After the construction of the new rolling mill is completed, Sisak's ABS will also sell those finished products, which will be a big step forward in terms of their further business.

The Sisak ironworks is otherwise already achieving constant growth, and operates mainly on foreign markets, from Italy to Turkey and Germany. In the 2019/2020 business year, in the conditions of the global coronavirus pandemic and difficult business for the steel industry on a global level, the total revenues of ABS Sisak were at the level of 114 million kuna, and the following 2020/2021 period, their revenue stood at an impressive 463 million kuna. In the first half of the new business year, more precisely from July to December 2021, which was marked by higher steel prices, their revenues exceeded the entire previous business year, reaching almost half a billion kuna, so it's only natural that ABS Sisak expects to achieve a record result this year.

For more, check out our business section.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Italy's Investindustrial Fund Investing €120m in Rimac Group

ZAGREB, 27 April 2022 - The Italian investment fund Investindustrial is investing a total of €120 million in Rimac Group in several rounds of financing, the high-performance car manufacturer has told Hina.

The money will be used primarily for the further development of the Rimac Technology company and serial production of key components for the electrification of vehicles for global car manufacturers.

The main shareholders in Rimac Group are Mate Rimac (32.64%), Porsche AG (23.5%) and Hyundai Motor Group (10.35%), while all other shareholders hold together 33.76%.

"The shareholding structure is subject to change in the next round of investment," said the group's spokeswoman, Marta Longin.

Investindustrial predicts that every third new vehicle on the road will be powered by electricity by 2025 and every second by 2030.

Mate Rimac started the Rimac Automobili company in 2009 in his garage, and today he employs more than 1,300 people. The company manufactures some parts for Aston Martin, Pininfarina, Hyundai, Kia, Koenigsegg and Porsche, among others, and is well-known for its high-performance sports electric vehicles. It is developing an autonomous vehicle, also known as a robotaxi.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 22 April 2022

Adriatic Croatia International Club Invests €3.2m in Marinas in Q1 2022

ZAGREB, 22 April (2022) - Adriatic Croatia International (ACI) invested over HRK 24 million in strategic and infrastructure projects in its marinas at Dubrovnik, Trogir, Rab, Milna, Žut and Piškera in the first quarter of 2022, the marina chain operator said on Friday.

The company said its focus in the first quarter of the year was on expanding the marina portfolio and developing further services.

In this period, ACI generated HRK 35 million in operating revenue, which was HRK 2 million more than in the first quarter of 2021. EBITDA was HRK 10.7 million, up from 9.4 million in Q1 2021, while net loss for the period was HRK 5.66 million, which was 1.75 million less than at the same time last year.

ACI said it had invested HRK 44 million in strategic projects last year.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Crop Company Wants to Invest 18 Million Euros into Croatia

November the 20th, 2021 - The agricultural technology Crop company published an ad on LinkedIn recently which they stated that they were on the hunt for land for the construction of the first high-tech greenhouse into which they plan to invest a massive 18 million euros, with the help of their Dutch partners, Dutch Greenhouses.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the Crop company was founded last year by entrepreneurs from the digital business and public relations, Jan de Jong and Jerko Trogrlic, known to the public for the project of promoting digital nomads and the digital nomad permit (often wrongly referred to as a visa) in Croatia.

The goal with the Crop company is to implement the latest Dutch technology for greenhouses, which enables the efficient achievement of high quality production with hydroponic cultivation, for both the domestic market and for exports.

As early as last year, they pointed out in public that they already had many potential investors who had showed some significant interest, and then they considered several locations, but apparently none have worked out for them so far.

"There is a lot of unused land across Croatia, but it isn't easy to find land that meets all the criteria, as each location has positive and negative sides. Together with our Dutch partner, Dutch Greenhouses, and their agricultural investment fund, we plan to invest 18 million euros in a greenhouse that will cover six hectares, and use the latest Dutch technology, including lamps for winter cultivation,'' they stated.

They also stated some more specific requirements for their investment in land - they need flat land with a total area of ​​12 hectares, of which 6 hectares will be intended for the construction of greenhouses, and the rest for a solar power plant, but they also need good infrastructure related to energy supply. Since they plan to employ about 70 people there, it is desirable that it be located next to a settlement of at least 5,000 inhabitants.

They would like to see their first greenhouse in continental Croatia, ie in the Bjelovar-Bilogora, Virovitica-Podravina, Brod-Posavina, Osijek-Baranja, Vukovar-Srijem, Pozega-Slavonia or Sisak-Moslavina counties.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Darko Pervan Investing 18 Million Euros in Construction of Hotel Slano

November the 12th, 2021 - Darko Pervan is set to build Hotel Slano in Slano, close to the City of Dubrovnik in the extreme south of Dalmatia, investing a massive eighteen million euros in the process.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, with the recently obtained building permit, the first greenfield hotel-tourist project of the Swedish-Croatian entrepreneur Darko Pervan is starting its full realisation in the form of Hotel Slano.

In the public eye, Darko Pervan is most perceived for having made significant investments in the domestic wood processing industry and for the successful operation of several export-oriented wood companies in Ogulin, Bjelovar and Otok, which are all now in great investment momentum. Over more recent days, the process of ownership takeover of Vinkovci-based DI Spacva into the system of Darko Pervan's Bjelin Group is coming as on as the ''icing on the cake''.

However, in parallel with these activities, Pervan's investments in the hotel, tourism and real estate business in the attractive area of ​​Dubrovnik and its wider surroundings have been taking place for more than a decade and a half. More broadly speaking for the Croatian hotel industry, in which greenfield investments in the past period were not the dominant form of investment, it has marked a significant step forward.

The Hotel Slano project otherwise covers an area of 10,000 m2 and the new facility's planned value stands at around 18 million euros. Hotel Slano, when it starts operating, will be a four star hotel, but only in the initial phase of business, since the investment project envisages new hotel construction according to the highest category standards, as was confirmed by Stjepan Vojinic, a member of the Management Board of Pervanovo Group, who is also the President of Bjelin Group.

"By the end of the year, an invitation will be sent out to the contractors," said Vojinic, adding that immediately after the selection of bidders, the Hotel Slano project will start because the goal is for the new hotel to start operating in time for 2024's summer tourist season.

At the same time, it is the second hotel in a row from the Pervanovo group. The first is the Hotel Kazbek, a restored Renaissance castle that was owned by the Zamanja family. The total investment in this part of the business together with the investment in Hotel Slano has risen to around 85 million euros.

With about 20 apartments in Dubrovnik and a number of villas (for example the Villa Riva Apartments, Villa Tereza in Cilipi, and Villa Franica in Dubrovnik), these latest operations mark the completion of the renovation of the former Ohmucevic family palace, which will operate as a residential villa.

The Bjelin Group consolidated to around 700 million kuna in revenue in 2021, and after a series of acquisitions, with the latest being that of Spacva, it completed the period of growth based on this leverage. This means, as Vojinic pointed out, that in the coming period the plan is to realise growth that is organic - by increasing production and sales, with the factors they have mastered, such as human resources and raw material base. Today, with a total of 1,750 employees, of which Spacva has 840, the Bjelin Group is the largest employer in the wood processing industry.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Enormous Interest for Croatian Tourism Investment, But Issues Remain

September the 18th, 2021 - The interest for Croatian tourism investment has never been more intense as we get a more firm hold on the pandemic, but in the usual Croatian way, multiple issues and obstacles remain.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, the interest of investors and hotel brands in Croatian tourism has never been higher, which is partly due to the coronavirus pandemic that has made us delve into other virtues.

Croatia has a great opportunity to develop some new quality projects for Croatian tourism investment from both at home and abroad, it's also an opportunity to restart the country's tourism in much more sustainable direction than we were heading in before the global pandemic struck. Still, the big question is whether Croatia is ready for these investors and their demands and ideas, as well as changes to the value-added tourism model, or whether we will continue to boast about ''having results which are better than those of our competitors'' in the second pandemic-dominated tourist season that actually happened, like many things do in and to Croatia, quite by accident.

Due to this attitude, Croatian tourism could end up very disappointed in 2022, from which a lot is already expected. This could summarise the messages sent in the two days of the ninth edition of the regional conference Adria Hotel Forum by the participants of a series of panels and discussions on the future of tourism after the pandemic and the sustainability of travel, climate change and even seasonality. While it’s not just an investment conference, investment and project development opportunities are always the number one topic.

"It's true that so far we haven't had such a large share of participants from abroad at the AHF, and never before has there been such an interest in the entire region, including Croatia. These are still not huge institutional investors, but regional ones, but that's also a good direction to go in. The level of interest is particularly high for Albania, while Montenegro currently has a problem with political instability, which has made investors cool off a bit.

But while on the one hand investors are very interested, we still aren't really seeing equal interest on the Croatian side, we don't offer them any projects, it's as if we don't even need investment, but we're once again focused on how great we did during the height of the tourist season, and we're busy bragging about being the best in the entire Mediterranean. Just to remind you, Greece conducted a study back in April in which the most optimistic option was to return 70 percent of the flights they saw from 2019, and they returned 72 percent. We've raised our prices this year and we haven't done much at all to make our next season any more stable,'' said Marina Franolic, the regional director of Bench Events, which organises AHF.

Kristian Sustar, the development director of the well known Croatian Uniline agency with many years of experience in hotel management under his belt, agrees that the next tourist season could be a big disappointment for Croatian tourism as a whole.

"Our season lasted only a couple of months, and as much as the numbers were better than we expected, it was full of challenges for all sectors, agency traffic failed to make a come back, hotels were filling up only at the last minute, which means death for price policy. We missed the chance to sit down together and decide how we want to see Croatian tourism in the future, with no one looking at the long term. Next year we're going to have a big disappointment on our hands,'' believes Sustar.

Investors have their own view of things and although they claim that Croatia has changed significantly in the last ten or so years as a destination and as potential target for Croatian tourism investment, there are still very few concrete announcements to speak of. The only currently active developer at this conference was Slovak Ludovit Cernak, a partner in Sitno Holding that works on developing serious tourism and real estate projects on the islands of Ugljan and Hvar, and is full of optimism for Croatian tourism investment.

"Croatia will never be Cannes, but it will be a very important destination, and that's why it is very attractive to investors at the moment. It is no longer seen as a cheap version of Italy or Spain as it was ten years ago, things have changed,'' said Cernak, who claims that Ugljan has a chance to become the Croatian Caribbean.

Opportunities for expansion in Croatia's wider region are also sought by various hotel companies, which are interested in the Adriatic coast, but also in cities such as Zagreb and Belgrade, Bratislava. David Jenkins, the vice president of hotel development at Radisson sees these cities as locations for lifestyle and fashion hotels. Takuya Aoyama from Hyatt said that we shouldn't forget the continental part of Croatia which lies away from the coastline. He was the only one to mention the need to open a hotel in Slavonia, which longs for such projects.

The global coronavirus pandemic has forced hotel companies not only to become much more flexible in contracting with their owners, but also to play around more with products and offers  - digital solutions for things like checking in have accelerated, rooms can now also be turned into workspaces and dining rooms can be exercise rooms. That said, it seems that Croatia still has some way to go before Croatian tourism investment becomes more concrete, interest means very little when nothing is put into place to make investors sign on the dotted line.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Alongside New Movenpick Split Hotel, More Projects in Works

September the 17th, 2021 - We recently reported on yet another hotel coming to the Dalmatian port city of Split, the Movenpick Split hotel, but that isn't the only thing the company responsible for that has up its sleeve for the Adriatic and the rest of the Mediterranean.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Crnjak writes, recent news that the first Movenpick Hotel in Croatia is opening in the second largest city of Split, which is one of the premium brands of the global hotel house Accor, presented a relatively new investor, the development company MPPD, which has great ambitions to develop projects throughout the entire Mediterranean.

Their company, Split Peninsula Properties ,will be in charge of the Movenpick Split hotel project, which is worth 25 million euros and which should be completed by 2023.

After the opening of the MGallery hotel a few weeks ago in the same city, this is Accor's second project in Split. As Andrija Antic, a partner in MPPD and the founder of Split Peninsula Properties explained, the works on the location have only just started.

Business partners

"After we've dealt with obtaining all of the permits and paperwork, we'll be ready to start the work that should get going in a month or two. This partnership with Accor fits perfectly into our vision and philosophy of creating comfortable, exclusive places for guests and the local community. We're proud to be able to bring such a top quality brand to Split and the whole of Dalmatia,'' Andrija Antic said.

On MPPD's website, among current and future projects, only this hotel in Split is mentioned so far, although the company presents itself as a developer in the Mediterranean. Antic's partners in the project are Janko Vrgoc, the former director of GPD Zagreb and the company Arena centar upravljanje (management), and Tomislav Mustapic.

“MPPD is a development company with a number of projects going on throughout the Mediterranean, Greece and Montenegro. These are commercial real estate projects (not residential ones), including logistics and mixed-use projects, but at this moment in time, we aren't ready to reveal any details.

Along with us, several partners from various sectors, from construction, finance and development, the project is accompanied by "High Net Worth" individual investors from outside the Republic of Croatia, who also participated in the Movenpick Split hotel project,'' explained Antic.

Located on Split's very popular Znjan neach, Mövenpick Split will have 156 rooms with stunning sea views, two restaurants and a spa, as well as an innovative workspace and conference facility. It will also have 110 underground and above-ground parking spaces with a large number of e-vehicle charging stations, a rooftop restaurant, a lounge and a terrace with an infinity pool.

The project is signed by local architect Alan Plestina from the Pulsar Architecture studio in collaboration with Accor's design and technical services team. Plestina is, among other things, the author of the projects of the Arena shopping centre complex and the Arena Zagreb sports hall.

Twelve active projects

The Movenpick brand itself is part of the more luxurious part of Accor's portfolio, which was founded back in 1973 and currently manages more than 90 hotels across 25 countries. In Northern Europe, Movenpick is currently implementing a total of twelve projects, and Eastern Europe is considered very attractive for further investment. Accor took over the brand back in 2018 from Arab investors for a price tag of 482 million euros.

"We're happy to be able to present another hotel in one of the most prestigious locations in Dalmatia and thus strengthen our portfolio in the segment of leisure facilities in the region. Movenpick is continuing to grow strongly in Eastern Europe thanks to the continuous expansion of the resort's offer and top facilities,'' said Dilek Sezer, the Accor Group's development director for Southeastern Europe, in a statement.

For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Strabag Opens New Croatian Building, 10 Million Euro Investment

September the 12th, 2021 - Strabag, which is often engaged in building various structures across the Republic of Croatia, has opened a brand new Croatian building which comes with a huge investment price tag of ten million euros.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, on the occasion of the opening of the company's new Croatian building, Strabag director Veljko Nizetic says that this concludes their strategic project, which, he says, will certainly facilitate and improve the daily business of the company, which is continuously working on a number of key infrastructure and demanding construction projects across Croatia.

"Investments like this in the asphalt base and in ancillary buildings and plants, as well as the employment of new people and the expansion of production, we see as a logical step in the growth and development of the company," explained Nizetic.

Strabag, one of the leading construction companies in Croatia, at the company level with more than a billion total revenues in 2020, has completed its strategic project which additionally positioned itself in the vicinity of the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County.

On a little more than two thousand square metres, as part of the asphalt base in Donja Lomnica, the company has opened a new business - a new Croatian building. It is, as stated, a total investment of almost ten million euros according to a recent announcement from Strabag.

The new Croatian building was built near the asphalt base, which was put into operation back in May 2020, and is the ninth base that Strabag has here in Croatia. In addition to office space, the new Croatian building houses a central laboratory for the quality control of concrete, asphalt and other materials used in construction, and, as they say, a central workshop for the repair and maintenance of construction machinery.

In his opening statement, the director of Strabag, Veljko Nizetic, assessed the huge level of importance of this and similar investments, especially in the context of further expansion of production, as well as the growth and development of Strabag's business overall. Namely, according to the director, this concludes their strategic project which will certainly facilitate and improve the daily business of the company, which continuously works on a number of key infrastructure and some of the most demanding construction projects in Croatia."

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

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