Athens: Croatia’s Atlantska Plovidba has denied media speculation of irregularities in share transfers made by company executives in 2014.
The speculation stems from a report by Croatia’s Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), which detected trading irregularities by an undisclosed company.
The SOA’s ‘Public Report 2015’ says the agency has collected data that shows executives at the unnamed company acquired shares in the firm in 2014 while it was being privatised, becoming significant shareholders.
Media reports have speculated that the company in question is Atlantska Plovidba, but the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor (DORH) has declined to confirm this, saying only that an investigation is under way.
No share transactions were conducted by management last year, Atlantska Plovidba said in a statement. The last time a significant number of shares were purchased by employees was 2004, when an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) was conducted. Some 166 people applied for the first round of the ESOP scheme, and 126 in the second, the company said.
Croatia Insurance is the largest single shareholder in Atlanska Plovidba, with a share of 10.63%; followed by state agency CERP (Centar za Restrukturiranje i Prodaju) with a 10.05% stake. Among the other major shareholders are current and former members of the board, of whom the board’s vice-president Zelimir Uskoković holds the biggest stake (4.28%).