Ljubljana, Tuesday, 4 June 2019 – SIJ Group and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have discussed their current and future cooperation.Today, the annual meeting of EBRD and SIJ Group took place at the headquarters of SIJ Group – Slovenian Steel Industry. The SIJ Group management led by Andrey Zubitsky, President of the Management Board, met with the EBRD delegation led by Jürgen Rihterink, EBRD First Vice President. As part of his business trip to Slovenia, Mr Rigterink visited the headquarters of SIJ Group, Slovenia's largest metallurgical group, to discuss the future investment plans and cooperation.
“We are pleased that such a renowned international financial institution as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development recognises SIJ Group as a strong Slovenian business partner. SIJ Group is one of the EBRD’s largest investment in Slovenia. In the future, in addition to the current support of SIJ Group’s investment strategy, even closer cooperation could be further enhanced with the EBRD’s support in further privatization activities in the ownership of SIJ Group, if the Republic of Slovenia, as the owner of a minority, 25.001-percent ownership stake, changes the strategy of managing financial assets,” said Andrey Zubitskiy, President of the Management Board of the SIJ Group and Managing Director of Dilon, the majority owner of SIJ Group.
Jürgen Rigterink, First Vice-President, EBRD, expressed his satisfaction about EBRD’s cooperation with SIJ Group: “We are very satisfied with the performance of the SIJ Group. One of the EBRD’s priorities in advanced transition countries such as Slovenia is the promotion of regional and international integration. SIJ as a highly competitive challenger on global markets is an excellent example for the successful transformation of a company the EBRD is proud to support.”
The cooperation between SIJ Group and EBRD started in 2015, when the Bank invested in five-year bonds issued by SIJ, the first such investment issued in Slovenia by the international financial institution. In 2017, the parties continued to expand their cooperation when the EBRD was part of a consortium of seven banks managed by the UniCredit Group that signed a long-term agreement for a five-year syndicated loan. Both parties recognize the possibilities of cooperation in the future.
To date, the EBRD has invested more than EUR 1 billion in almost 90 projects in Slovenia. The Bank is focused on strengthening the private sector and combines investment with engagement for policy reform to create a business environment conducive to sustainable economic growth.
SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgical group. Its products hold leading positions in European and global niche steel markets. SIJ Group is one of the ten largest business groups in Slovenia, the five largest Slovenian exporters and the most important employers in Slovenia. The EBRD is a multilateral bank committed to the development of market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative in 38 economies in Europe, Asia and Africa continents. The Bank is owned by 67 countries as well as the European Union and the European Investment Bank.