As you know, after posting yesterday’s post, Laško Brewery (under new management) issued a statement saying that it has received word from layers of Pierpaolo Cerani, owner of company Iniziative Generali 96 (to whom Boško Šrot reportedly sold Kolonel, a key company in the chain of ownership of Laško), that it had purchased a majority stake in Kolonel and is thus the new owner of entire Laško Brewery and its companies and assets. Pengovsky edited his post to reflect this. However, only minutes after that, POP TV website reported that Andrijana Starina Kosem, Boško Šrot’s right-hand and henchwoman, was replaced as CEO od Delo newspaper (owned by Laško). If you follow pengovsky on Twitter, you know that as well. But this where the plot thickens…
Boško Šrot (centre) and Andrijana Starina Kosem (right) on a handball match (source)
As I already wrote, Delo newspaper is an important factor this particular game of chess, but not only in terms of money it could fetch if sold. Ran by Andrijana Starina Kosem (nicknamed ASK) it served Boško Šrot’s interests directly, either by spinning information his way or attacking his enemies. That said, it should be understood, that Delo was not Laško’s company newspaper, but every time the going got tough, there was no mistaking who the owner is. So replacing ASK by Laško’s new management and citing differences in vision at first seemed like “cleaning out the barn”. You know – just to let everybody know there’s a new boss around. But…
Today’s Delo ran an exclusive interview with signore Cerani, where he said that he bought 30% stake in Kolonel, denying Laško’s PR release which quoted his lawyers as saying that he had bought a majority stake in Kolonel and thus owns Laško. Furthermore he refused to say how much he paid for 30 percent of Kolonel and said that he will not sell Laško’s assets and doesn’t think company’s debts are a huge problem.
This is where it gets interesting. The journalists asked Cerani “How much debt does Laško have?” and Cerani answerers “A lot, I’m sure. But that’s not the biggest problem, The biggest problem is that Infond Holding cannot exercise its ownership rights [due to a decision by the Competition Protection Office]. (…) We’re prepared to go to the European Court to insure that it can“. Later in the interview he said that he’d like to meet with the finance minister to present his rescue plan for Laško.
The above of course shows that Cerani doesn’t have the foggiest about what is really going on in Laško and is bluffing through and through. I mean – meeting with the finance minister? What the fuck? Going from not knowing how much debt the company you just bought has all the way to threatening with the European Court? Really. Seems like Cerani’s ego is writing checks his body can’t cash in. Adding to that contradictory statement by him and his lawyers about how much of Kolonel did he really buy shows that Cerani is quite probably Šrot’s stooge, likely being paid for stirring the shit on Šrot’s behalf. This is corroborated by yesterday’s swift removal of ASK by Laško’s new management. She was replaced late in the afternoon, quite probably after the interview with Cerani had been made and filed for publishing, which shows that the interview was done at Šrot’s behest rather than as a result of independent editorial decision. The fact that ASK-ran Delo was the only media able to “get to” Cerani only
reiterates the above notion.
The Delo angle of the story is a complication unto itself. According to pengovsky’s information, Laško (then still ran by Šrot) upon snatching Delo from under Janez Janša’s control in 2007 signed a management contract with ASK’s private company, so she was never actually employed by Delo, but was rather “outsourced”. Reputedly, that contract is a nasty piece of legal work so it is entirely possible that ASK will come back to haunt Delo and Laško’s new management. Not that a lot of people will miss her if she’s gone for good. Maybe the editor-in-chief will. But he’ll adapt. Apparently he’s very good at adapting.
Anyhow, he way things stand now pengovsky is willing to bet that Šrot never really sold Kolonel to Cerani, whose only purpose in to act as a straw-man and stir up some more shit. I mean, if you bought a company (even just temporarily, to park some shares for your friend), wouldn’t you like to know what is it you’re buying?