Wednesday, 1 June 2022

SoftBank and Goldman Sachs Invest €500 Million in Rimac Group

June 1, 2022 - Rimac Group received an investment of half a billion euros from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Goldman Sachs, which raised the value of the company to more than two billion euros. According to Mate Rimac, they will employ 700 people by the end of the year.

Rimac Group announced that EUR 500 million of investments were collected in investment round D, which exceeded the total market value of the company by 2 billion euros, reports Telegram.hr. Those 500 million euros is the largest investment so far, and a larger sum than all the investments the company has attracted. The key investors in the new round are SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, with the participation of existing Rimac Group shareholders, including Porsche and InvestIndustrial.

The company’s founder, Mate Rimac, still has the largest stake in the company, while the Rimac Group has a majority stake in Bugatti Rimac with a 55 percent stake. The other 45 percent is owned by Porsche. With the recent spin-off, Rimac Technology has become a fully independent company wholly owned by the Rimac Group. Rimac Technology is known for being a technology partner of global automotive manufacturers, which selects it to develop and manufacture high-performance battery systems, electric powertrains, electronic systems, and user interface components.

This year the company will hire 700 new people

Mate Rimac, CEO of the Rimac Group, said they were honored by the support of new investors, but also noted that they have ambitious growth plans for the next two years. “We are honored to support significant new investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, who believe in our vision. We are also grateful to Porsche and InvestIndustrial, which have played an important role in our success so far, and have now stepped up their support with new investments. In my opinion, it is a huge thing that they invested in us from SoftBank, the largest technology investor in the world, and Goldman Sachs, in general, one of the largest investors in the world", Rimac told reporters.

“As we reorganize the Rimac Group, we are establishing new production processes to meet global demand, we are hiring 700 new employees in 2022 alone, and we have hired more than 300 people so far. We are opening new offices in several locations in Europe and expanding production on Campus and other locations, the support of our professional investors will help us bring the company to the next stage of life. I would also like to personally thank all our employees because without their hard work, loyalty, and enthusiasm for the vision of the Rimac Group, we would not be here where we are today", added Rimac. Rimac revealed that today, 12 years since its founding, the company has more than 1,500 employees (there are more than 700 engineers) in eight locations.

The lack of staff in Croatia forces the employment of foreigners with experience

In a conversation with journalists on the occasion of the completion of the new investment round, Mate Rimac pointed out that the company continues to record constant growth, every year and a half to two almost double the number of employees. Currently, 150 employees work in France in the plants that Rimac shares with Bugatti, while in Warwick, Great Britain, there are already about a hundred employees. As for employment, Rimac says the focus in the last two years has been on increasing seniority.

"We grew organically before and we couldn't afford to pay foreigners or we weren't very attractive to them, and there was no experience in Croatia. So, in the beginning, we were all young, there were also students for whom this was their first job. That is why we focused on bringing in foreigners who have a lot of experience in the industry since we simply do not have such staff with such experience. Now we have people from Ferrari, Aston Martin and such companies. Almost half of the new people are foreigners. Even English people work here, although we also have an office in England. Those who are more ambitious prefer to come to us, 'close to the action', although they can work from England. Everywhere it would be difficult for us to make the team we want and in such a short time with such huge growth, without hiring internationally. Even if we are in, say, Germany", explains Rimac.

Rimac also pointed out that so far they have received almost a hundred times more investments from private investors than the money they received from the EU and Croatia. "So, it is absolutely untrue that we live on EU funds. Only one percent of our total investment comes from EU and national funds, less than seven million euros, as far as I know. We paid ten times more in taxes than we received money from the state, and four times more than we received from the EU", added Rimac.

Problems are caused by a lack of materials

Asked how much Rimac Automobile is affected by a shortage of materials, such as cables, Rimac revealed that, although they are a small company, they still have problems due to their vertical integration. “We produce thousands of parts ourselves. For example, an electronic unit or board that we work on has a few hundred small components. If we are missing only one of these components, we cannot produce a tile.

That was a huge problem for us and the reason why some things took us a lot longer. Being a small company, we managed to get away with paying ten or thirty times the purchase price from a broker, so that we could buy some, say, connectors from them. We had no other options. It is cheaper for us to pay more than for production to stop”, explains Rimac.

More than 200 million in development

Because they create products with very high added value, Rimac says that time means much more to them than the price of energy. "This year, our energy costs will be far less than one percent of the annual cost. We are investing hundreds of millions of euros in development, and this year alone the budget for that is more than 200 million euros. Of all the things that can affect our business or cause us problems, energy is in the 100th place. I'm worried about other, much bigger things. It is important to us that there is no delay. If something is late for us, or we have to go back to development because we screwed up, it will have a much bigger effect than the increase in energy prices. So, that is not a factor for us", said Rimac.

As for a possible IPO (short for initial public offering), Rimac says they want to do it at the best time for the company. "There is no specific timing when we have to or want to. I expect us to do that at a time when the company is a little more predictable, that is, when you are sure that you can fulfill something you announce within the given deadline. In my opinion, this is the right time to list the company. I don't know if it will be in the next three or five years, but it is a framework we are thinking about", Rimac said.

The capital will be used for the further development of Rimac Technology

In November 2021, the merger of the hypercar division, Rimac Automobili, with Bugatti Automobiles was carried out. Now both brands operate within the Bugatti Rimac company, the world's leading manufacturer of high-performance hypercars. The capital raised from Investment Circle D will be used primarily for the further development of Rimac Technology in the field of large series production for global automotive manufacturers.

The company says that based on the knowledge gained from the development of the Rimac Nevera electric hypercar, the company has developed a wide range of products and services for the entire process, from concept to series production of various key elements of electric and hybrid cars. So far, Rimac Technology has already entered into partnerships with many global brands, including Porsche, Hyundai, Pininfarina Cars, Koenigsegg, and Aston Martin. Mate Rimac also said that the company is currently cooperating with 12 world car manufacturers.

Tens of thousands of components will be produced on campus

Rimac Technology is in the process of increasing its production capacity, and the construction of the new Rimac Campus, the largest industrial building in Croatia, is currently being completed. When full on-campus production capacity is reached, Rimac Technology will be able to produce tens of thousands of components annually, ranging from hybrid battery systems to entire platforms for other manufacturers.

The Rimac Campus will also house the headquarters of Bugatti Rimac, which manages the Bugatti Automobiles and Rimac Automobiles hypercar brands. The campus will also produce the Nevera hypercar - the most powerful production car in the world. Work on campus, Rimac says, despite all the problems with the lack of materials, is progressing well, since the roof is already set on part of the building.

They are also planning another campus

Rimac also revealed that, although the first campus is not open either, they are intensively planning a second campus. In the meantime, they have rented several office buildings in the City Island business center near Buzin, because they have already realized that the Campus in Sveta Nedjelja will not be enough for them. Between 500 and 600 people now work at the temporary location in Zagreb's Skorpikova, former Pevec. When asked where and when another campus could be built, Rimac said they are planning a facility that is four to five times larger than the current Campus.

"For now, we are planning in Croatia. You know that we bought about 600,000 square meters of land near Kerestinec from Pliva and we are thinking of doing it there. Of course, we are also talking about a much larger number of employees. The campus is already filled with projects, everything is sold out. We already know where the production line for which manufacturer will come from. This campus is already too small for us", Rimac told Telegram.

What do investors say?

Jimi Macdonald, an investor for SoftBank Investment Advisers, said we are witnessing rapid growth in demand for electrification in an industry facing significant challenges in adapting to technological change. “Rimac has quickly established itself as a leading EV technology partner to the global automotive industry in the transition to an electric future. We are happy to be able to support Mate and his team in further success and raising Rimac to a new level”, said Macdonald.

Michael Bruun, Director of Private Equity at Goldman Sachs Asset Management for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, said the company looks forward to partnering with Mate Rimac and his managers to develop innovation and make further progress in pushing the boundaries of battery and electric drive performance. Andrea C. Bonomi, Chairman of Investindustrial's Industrial Advisory Board, said they were "extremely pleased to be able to continue to support the company in achieving its industrial expansion plan, which will make Rimac a leader in the transition to electromobility solutions. We also welcome new shareholders who will further strengthen the group."

Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Porsche AG and a member of the Management Board for Finance and IT, reminded us that already in 2018 they were convinced that Rimac has great potential. “We are happy to have been able to contribute to the progress and success of the Rimac Group. With the new investors, Rimac will further strengthen its position in electromobility and thus become an even stronger partner for Porsche. This close cooperation creates added value on both sides in terms of technological and innovation strength”, says Meschke.

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Rimac Seeking to Employ 250 People for Positions in UK, Germany

April the 30th, 2022 - Wildly successful Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac, the founder of Rimac Automobili, is looking to employ as many as 250 new employees, some of whom will go on to work in the United Kingdom and in the German capital of Berlin.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, nobody who follows the media space in Croatia will find the name Mate Rimac strange. This incredibly talented and doggedly determined Livno-born businessman not only placed the country on the automotive map after starting out from his garage, but has since become the co-owner of Bugatti Rimac, with many other ventures having taken place in the meantime.

The entrepreneur recently announced on his Facebook profile that he was on the hunt for a significant number of employees, some of whom will remain in the country, and some will go to work abroad in other European countries, namely Germany and the United Kingdom.

At the level of the entire group, as many as 252 people are wanted by the CEO at nine different locations. Of that, 146 people are wanted to work at Rimac Technology, and 106 people are sought for various positions within the large Bugatti Rimac company.

"This year, 300 colleagues have joined us, and by the end of the year we are looking for 400 or more people," he wrote on social media.

Both Rimac and Bugatti are looking for a number of different experts, mostly engineers and software developers.

These future employees will work in Sveta Nedelja and Savska Opatovina near Zagreb, as well as in Split, Osijek, Warwick in the United Kingdom, and one job is also available in Berlin, the businessman revealed.

The amount of jobs Mate Rimac, who is a self described car lover since childhood who could never have dreamed his success would become what it since has, has created for Croatia and beyond is admirable. On top of that, he readily schooled the government on what it means to attract massive industry like the automotive industry to a small country that was otherwise entirely overlooked.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

VIDEO: Rimac Team Test Out Stunning Nevera in Extreme Conditions

April the 13th, 2022 - The Rimac team have been testing out Mate Rimac's stunning Nevera in some rather extreme conditions close to the Arctic Circle up in Sweden.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Rimac team completed two intensive weeks of winter testing with the gorgeous Nevera supercar back in March at Pirelli’s Sottozero Centre near the Arctic Circle in Sweden. With unusually warm daytime temperatures, the Rimac team spent their time testing the car at night when temperatures were at their lowest and as such their most extreme, adjusting systems such as the ABS, ESP and torque vectoring, and before delivering the very first production cars.

After several years of simulations and testing on tracks, as well as in various test centres across Europe, the all-electric 1914 hp Rimac Nevera has already passed its homologation crash tests for the US and EU, serial production is underway and deliveries to customers around the world will begin in the next few months. However, to ensure that each management system works perfectly in all conditions, the Rimac team headed up to Sweden to confirm the results they had previously achieved on the road, on the tracks and in the climate chambers.

This environment was an ideal opportunity to test the Nevera on its recommended winter tyres - Pirelli P Zero Winter. This type of tyre is characterised by a special mark on the side that testifies to the joint development that Pirelli carried out in partnership with Rimac. Nevera's standard summer tires are otherwise Michelin Pilot Sport 4S.

Miroslav Zrncevic, Chief Development and Test Driver, said: ''Testing the Nevera on a low-adhesion substrate allows us to make consistent and accurate observations of how our systems operate at low temperatures. Things happen much slower on this than they do on asphalt, and we have nice, even, smooth handling paths so we know that the data we get isn't being affected by surface imperfections or temperature changes. After these two weeks of testing, we're happy to see exactly the results we wanted to achieve.''

Mate Rimac, the CEO of Rimac Group, said: “For us, this process of testing in extreme conditions was an opportunity to perfect the Nevera, ensuring that it's perfect before the first deliveries go out to the owners. Even after two weeks spent at temperatures of around -15 ° C and with a rather demanding testing regime, our prototype met the conditions by achieving 100 percent of the expected results, so we know that all our core systems can work reliably even in extreme conditions. What we also wanted to achieve is to develop a super sports car that can be driven and enjoyed by someone who isn't the most experienced driver. Finding a balance of creating an exciting, driver-adaptable yet safe ride in a 1914 hp car with four independent electric motors has been our goal since day one, and as testing nears the end, I can say with certainty that this is exactly what we achieved with the Nevera.''

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 8 April 2022

Top Gear Car Magazine Gives Mate Rimac's Nevera Prestigious Award

April the 8th, 2022 - The Top Gear Magazine Electric 2022 awards has awarded Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac's stunning Nevera a prestigious award.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, just weeks after being named GQ Magazine's Hypercar of the Year, Rimac's gorgeous  Nevera won the Best High Performance Electric Car Award at the prestigious Top Gear Electric 2022 awards. These Top Gear car magazine awards, organised and judged by a team of experts from Top Gear each year, highlight the most important cars around the world in a number of different categories.

Speaking about the impressive Nevera, the assistant editor of Top Gear magazine, Tom Ford said: “The evolution of the revolution - Nevera is a summary of the technological knowledge of the Croatian manufacturer Rimac, and when it comes to electricity and advanced control systems, Rimac is the god of lightning.''

A new generation of fully electric hypercar

Rimac's Nevera represents a paradigm shift in automotive performance, technology and design. The new generation of fully electric hypercar has also unlocked new dimensions of performance that were once considered unattainable. 1914 horsepower produced by four electric motors, running it from 0-60mph in just 1.85 seconds and up to 100mph in 4.3 seconds. The Nevera was named the fastest production car in the entire world last year, crossing a quarter of a mile in a world record of 8,582 seconds.

“When we first introduced the all-electric Concept_One supercar at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in 2011, it had no competition - the idea of ​​sports and supersports electric cars was still abstract. But today, with Nevera, we find ourselves in a market full of extremely impressive all-electric sports cars from some of the world’s largest manufacturers. On behalf of the team of people who have worked tirelessly to improve the Nevera over the past few years, it's a great privilege to be singled out by the amazing group of Top Gear experts as the best high-performance electric car in the world today,'' said Mate Rimac, the CEO and founder of Rimac Automobili.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Monday, 3 January 2022

Rimac Offering €1000 to Anyone Who Recommends Someone He Employs

January the 3rd, 2022 - Mate Rimac is Croatia's shining star when it comes to entrepreneurship, having shown that anything is possible in Croatia, despite the many barriers to success in his field. He has even turned the eyes of the demanding automotive world to Croatia, who wouldn't have given this country as much as a second glance otherwise. Porsche is now firmly tied to the country through him.

The Livno-born businessman who is the head of the currently Sveta Nedelja-based Rimac Automobili, is now offering a very handsome 1000 euro amount to anyone who recommends a person they end up deciding to employ in another move in which he is giving back to people.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the entrepreneur is looking for new employees, and he is looking for candidates through recommendations. Anyone can recommend someone, and should they get lucky and get hired by the company, they'll have 1000 euros show up in their bank account. A nice surprise indeed for the one month of the year (January) in which everyone feels skint.

Anyone who refers to a candidate who is eventually hired by this enterprise will receive a 1000 euros cash - whether or not that person is employed by the Rimac Group or not.

“As we expand our project work for many global automotive companies, we're expanding at all levels. Anyone who nominates a candidate we hire in the end will be rewarded with 1000 euros (gross) - regardless of whether they're an employee of the Rimac Group or not,'' wrote Mate Rimac on his Facebook page.

Rimac is looking for experienced procurement and logistics experts who can take responsibility for challenging, large projects.

"Managing the requirements of such complex projects is not something for beginners, so please don't waste your and ours with recommendations for unskilled people," Rimac concluded in his Facebook post.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Recovery, Higher Credit Rating, Rimac, Large Projects Mark Croatian Economy in 2021

ZAGREB, 1 Jan 2021 - The rebound from the corona crisis, the country's improved credit rating as well as a rise in inflation marked the economic trends in Croatia in 2021.

After 2020, which will be remembered for efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic and for the devastating quakes that hit the capital city of Zagreb on 22 March and Sisak-Moslavina County on 28 and 29 December, the outgoing year has been marked by a high growth rate.

In 2020, the economy contracted by 8% and it is set to have rebounded at a rate of 8.1% in 2021, according to the European Commission's forecasts, while the Fitch rating agency forecasts Croatia's recovery at a rate of 8.9% in 2021.

In mid-December, analysts of four major commercial banks presented projections of Croatia's growth at a rate of 9.5%, and the Croatian National Bank projects a 10.8% recovery.

Croatia's credit rating reaches a record high

On 13 November, Fitch upgraded Croatia's rating from BBB- to BBB, the best in Croatia's history, with a positive outlook.

Fitch expects "Croatia to be in a position to join the euro in January 2023 due to its significant progress in meeting convergence and structural reform criteria, despite the pandemic shock, and political support at the wider eurozone level for Croatia's membership."

The euro adoption will support Croatia's rating, "as it would provide the sovereign with reserve currency status, reduce transaction costs and limit exchange rate risk to corporate and household balance sheets."

Commenting on this improvement, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić recalled that the credit rating is important for the price of borrowing for the state, businesses, and citizens as its upgrade lowers the risk premium, which has a favorable effect on the price of capital.

Increasing inflation

Last year was marked by an acceleration in inflation rates.

At the beginning of 2021, inflation was moderate, however, it stepped up in the autumn and November saw 4.8%, a record high rate since February 2013, with analysts projecting that the inflation rate in December is set to have exceeded 5%.

In the EU, record-high inflation rates of 9.3%, 8.6%, and 7.5% were registered in Lithuania, Estonia, and Hungary, respectively, in November.

In Croatia, November's inflation rate was fueled by a 12.9% rise in transport prices, which was spurred by a 26.6% annual increase in fuel prices.

In mid-November, Marić said that that effect was not surprising given all the circumstances, primarily on the global level. However, the overall inflation rate in Croatia is not deviating from the EU average, which is good, he added.

According to Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office, the EU inflation in November reached 5.2% and the euro area registered a 4.9% inflation.

The Maastricht criteria concerning price stability envisage that a euro-area aspirant's inflation rate cannot be higher than 1.5 percentage points above the rate of the three best-performing member states.

The Andrej Plenković cabinet forecast an inflation rate of 2.5% both in 2021 and 2022.

Tourist trade again pulls the economy from the lows

In 2021, the pandemic-hit economy bounced back thanks to trends in the tourism sector.

Both the financial and physical indicators hint at a successful season.

From 1 January to 20 December 2021, tourist turnover was equivalent to 77% of the tourist trade in the pre-pandemic 2019.

Fiscalised receipts in this sector reached 85% of the value registered in the corresponding period in 2019.

Rimac takes over Bugatti

In July, Rimac Automobili, the Croatian carmaker based in Sveta Nedelja west of Zagreb, acquired Bugatti.

The Rimac Automobili company has decided to combine forces with the automotive brand Bugatti Automobiles "to create a new automotive and technological powerhouse" called Bugatti Rimac d.o.o. (in English – LLC), the Croatian company reported on 5 July.

As part of the deal, the newly-formed Rimac Group has become the majority shareholder with a 55% stake.

Croatia's National Recovery and Resilience Plan

The government drafted Croatia's National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) which consists of 77 reforms and 152 investment plans. Croatia's 2021-2026 NRRP was formally adopted by the EU in July.

Under the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), Croatia has €6.3 billion in grants and 3.6 billion in favorable loans at its disposal.

Croatia plans to set aside 40.3% of that money for climate targets and 20.4% for digital transformation. A large part will go for post-earthquake reconstruction.

On 28 September, the European Commission disbursed €818 million to Croatia in a pre-financing payment under the RRF, and that was equivalent to 13% of the country's total financial allocation under the RRF.

The pre-financing payment will help to kick-start the implementation of crucial investment and reform measures outlined in Croatia's NRRP.

The implementation of the NRRP is expected to contribute 1.4 percentage points to Croatia's GDP growth in 2022 and as much in 2023.

Pelješac Bridge built

In late July, Pelješac Bridge was fully joined together, with the installation of the last, 165th segment of its steel span, and it now stretches from Komarna on the coast to Brijesta on the peninsula of Pelješac.

The 2,440-metre bridge has 13 spans, of which the five central spans are each 285 meters long, six 33-meter-high centrally installed pylons made of reinforced concrete, and two lanes, plus a hard shoulder for bridge maintenance.

The navigation profile under the bridge is 200 by 55 meters.

The bridge was designed by Marjan Pipenbaher and built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation. The Chinese company was awarded the job in 2018, offering a price of HRK 2.081 billion, not including VAT, and a completion deadline of 36 months.

Work on the bridge officially started on 31 July 2018.

The bridge and its access roads are expected to be opened to traffic in June 2022, before the start of the peak tourist season.

The decision on financing the project was made by the government in 2017.

LNG terminal off Krk starts operating

The floating terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the island of Krk began commercial operations on 1 January when the first LNG tanker, the Tristar Ruby, carrying 143,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas arrived at Omišalj, marking the launch of the terminal's commercial operations

The terminal's annual capacity is 2.6 billion cubic meters of gas. All of the terminal's capacity has been leased for the next three years, 80% of its capacity until 2027 and around 50% until 2035.

The floating LNG terminal in Omišalj and the Zlobin-Omišalj pipeline which will deliver LNG to Croatia's gas transport system and consumers was formally inaugurated at a ceremony in late January.

The LNG Croatia project is worth €234 million. In 2017, Croatia signed with the European Commission a grant agreement totaling €101.4 million for the construction of the terminal.

Gas transport operator Plinacro said the terminal and the Zlobin-Omišalj pipeline gave Croatia a new supply route that guaranteed energy stability and gas supply.

A compressor station was built in January 2020 to allow for a two-way flow of gas between Croatia and Hungary. With the reconstruction of the Rogatec-Zabok gas pipeline between Slovenia and Croatia, all requirements were met for delivering gas from the LNG terminal to Central and Eastern Europe and Croatia's gas transport system was integrated into European supply routes.

The LNG Croatia company invested HRK 1.7 billion in the project, while Plinacro invested HRK 430 million.

The 16.7-kilometre-long Zlobin-Omišalj pipeline, completed in mid-November 2020, is worth HRK 430 million, with €16.4 million coming from EU funds.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Mate Rimac and Fabris Perusko Awarded for Economic Contributions

December the 18th, 2021 - Mate Rimac and Fabris Perusko have both been awarded for their massive contributions to the Croatian economy recently. Rimac is known for his role as the main man of Rimac Automobili and Fabris Perusko has headed Fortenova (formerly Agrokor) for a while now, bringing the massive company back from the brink.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Stela Lechpammer/VL writes, for the first time back in 2017, then again in pre-pandemic 2019 and once again now in 2021, Mate Rimac was named Businessman of the Year for the third time by the expert jury in the prestigious selection "Businessman and Economic Event of the Year" organised by Vecernji list and Poslovni dnevnik for the sixth year running.

Along with Rimac, but according to the readers' choice, the title was also taken by the CEO of Fortenova Group Fabris Perusko, while the economic events of the year were the growth of merchandise exports and industry according to readers and the results of the tourist season according to experts.

"The members of the jury are renowned journalists and editors from the most influential Croatian media, deans of economic faculties and representatives of professional associations. Throughout the year, they monitor who the businessmen and economic events that are changing Croatia for the better are. Therefore, they proposed five people and events for which our readers could vote, and we traditionally award four prizes, for a person and an event chosen by the jury and the audience,'' said Dražen Klaric, editor-in-chief of Vecernji list at the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb.

Along with Mate Rimac and Fabris Perusko, Gordan Kolak, CEO of Koncar Elektroindustrija, Martina Dalic, the now President of Podravka, and Roberto Kutic, Silvio Kutic and Izabel Jelenic, the co-owners and co-founders of Infobip, were all nominated for the Businessman of the Year award. The jury finally concluded that the takeover of Bugatti by Rimac Automobili is without a doubt a historic event for Croatia and that Rimac deserves the title.

"For Rimac Automobili, this year has been really intense. In addition to the founding of Bugatti Rimac, there's also the presentation of the Nevera car, the start of construction of the new Rimac campus and the arrival of 300 new employees. We still have a lot of plans and we're looking forward to revealing them to you next year,'' said Marko Brkljacic from the company, who accepted the award on behalf of Mate Rimac.

Readers gave the most votes to Fabris Perusko, who in 2021 continued the process of transforming the largest Croatian business system, Fortenova. This was also felt in the results, and Fortenova generated 12 billion kuna in revenue in the first half of the year, 35 percent more than last year. Fabris Perusko said that the key is in a good team he works with.

"All of these stories create a very good motivation and send out the message that even in the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic in Croatia, positive economic stories can be created," said Fabris Perusko briefly.

When it comes to the economic event of the year in Croatia, readers decided that it is the growth of merchandise exports and industry which should be awarded. This year, the good results achieved even in the pandemic by Croatian industry and domestic exporters were highlighted. Every seventh company, about 20,000 of them, tried to export, and exports increased by a quarter during the year. The award for the category was taken by the Minister of Finance Zdravko Maric.

“It's a great honour for me to receive this award, but we all know very well that it was received primarily on behalf of exporters and private sector enterprises. Exporters are the lifeblood of the Croatian economy and it's certainly the most challenging segment of their business because they have to compete out there on the global market. It isn't easy to produce goods or services and sell them on such a competitive market,'' said Maric, concluding that in 2021, the Croatian Government was of great importance for the success of the economy following its quickly implemented economic measures. Other nominated events were the growth of Croatia's credit rating, the adoption of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, Rimac's takeover of Bugatti and the results of the excellent 2021 summer tourist season, and the latter was chosen as the most important by experts. Minister of Tourism and Sport Nikolina Brnjac pointed out that the synergy of the Croatian Government and the private and public sectors was of paramount importance for this success.

"We'll continue in 2022 the way we did this year, and we're turning to the funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. Our goal is to have year-round sustainable tourism and we'll move in that direction,'' said Brnjac. Everyone agreed that this year's tourist season was above all expectations. The eleven-month period ended with 13.5 million guests, who achieved 83.5 million overnight stays. It is expected that foreign exchange earnings from tourism in 2021 exceed the figure of eight billion euros.

For more, check out our business section.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Rimac Bugatti Takeover is Historic for International Image of Croatia

December the 4th, 2021 - The Rimac Bugatti takeover is an absolutely historic event for the Republic of Croatia in terms of placing the country best known for tourism, football and little else on the global business map.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Zoran Vitas writes, it goes without saying that the Rimac Bugatti takeover is an enormous deal for Croatian business and entrepreneurship. Until just a few years ago, Mate Rimac himself wasn't sure of the fate of his company, and look at him now.

“I'm honoured to be able to lead a new company that joins the forces of the two brands and begin what will be a successful, revolutionary and exciting new chapter for all involved. I'm very curious to see the impact that Bugatti Rimac will have on the industry and I'm looking forward to developing innovative new hypercars and technologies. It's difficult to find a better combination than Rimac and Bugatti. What each side brings in terms of technical expertise, knowledge and history of car development is a perfect recipe. The agility and innovation of Rimac Automobili is the perfect complement to Bugatti's history in designing and manufacturing hypercars that set new standards. We've already started developing new models that we can't wait to present to the public when the time is right,'' said Mate Rimac about the creation of the new company.

It was an important part of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's presentation to French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Zagreb last week and today, Rimac is a Croatian model for the rest of the world. As he should be. His personal philosophy is - if you can't be the best at something, then don't do it. Working with Porsche is multi-layered and demanding, as well as very ambitious, as well as dynamic. 

The Rimac Bugatti takeover is something for the history books, and it is high time Croatia had something to add to those which lies outside of the bounds of sportsmanship and tourism.

For more on Croatian entrepreneurs and Croatian companies, check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 29 November 2021

Zagreb Mayor Condemns Racist Attack on Rimac Automobili Employees

ZAGREB, 29 Nov 2021 - The Mayor of Zagreb, Tomislav Tomašević, has strongly condemned a racist attack on employees of the Rimac Automobili company, which occurred in central Zagreb on Friday night, saying that there should be no place for violence in the city.

"I strongly condemn the racist attack on employees of Rimac Automobili. There must be no place for violence in our city, especially not for violence motivated by hatred of those who are different on any grounds," Tomašević wrote on his Facebook on Sunday evening.

"An attack on people of different color is an attack on all of us. That's why I expect the police to identify the attackers and punish them for this hate crime. Despite the hateful individuals, Zagreb will remain an open and hospitable city," the mayor said.

The owner of Rimac Automobili, Mate Rimac, said on Saturday that a group of young men had assaulted his colleagues near the Croatian National Theatre on Friday night. He said that the attackers first verbally abused his employees and then physically attacked them, as a result of which one of them suffered a broken nose and another a mild concussion.

The police are investigating the incident.

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Saturday, 27 November 2021

Rimac Automobili Employees Attacked in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 27 Nov, 2021 - Rimac Automobili owner Mate Rimac said on Facebook on Saturday that a group of young man physically attacked his foreign colleagues in the centre of Zagreb last night and police confirmed being notified about the attack.

"Is it possible that this happened in Zagreb?! I'm shocked and sad," Rimac said in a post.

He said he spoke to the victims and that they said they had seen a group of young men shouting "Go back to where you came from. What the f'uck are you doing in Croatia" as well as swearing.

"Our employees tried to avoid a conflict, they crossed the street and hurried, but the attackers caught up with them and started a physical showdown," wrote Rimac.

He said the group attacked five or six Rimac Automobili employees near the Croatian National Theatre, adding that one person had their nose broken and that another had a milder concussion.

Rimac said one of the things his company always underlined to the candidates they attracted from all over the world was that Croatia was a safe country where foreigners were not looked upon as second-rank citizens.

"This is a single incident by a group of uneducated idiots who, I hope, won't change the perception of the foreigners who came to build their lives in Croatia. I hope the police will do their job promptly and efficiently and that we will all realise how much the foreigners who come to live here contribute to the development of society and the economy," wrote Rimac.

Zagreb police told Hina they were notified about a physical clash between a number of persons around half past midnight. They could not confirm they were employees of a company because they did not have that information nor say how many persons were involved in the clash. A criminal investigation is under way.

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