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Croatia to auction three hoteliers starting at 153 mln Kuna

Croatia is auctioning majority stakes in three hoteliers for a minimum 153 mln kuna ($28 million) as it steps up efforts to sell state-owned companies.

The government is requiring interested buyers of Bizovacke Toplice d.d. spa, Hoteli Podgora d.d. and Hoteli Zivogosce d.d., to submit a five-year business plan and maintain the current payroll for at least one year, the state asset-sales agency said in an e- mailed statement today. Croatia, which declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, started entry talks with the European Union in October 2005 and aims to join by the end of the decade. The International Monetary Fund and the EU have urged Croatia to speed up asset sales.

The country sold 17% of oil company Ina Industrija Nafte d.d. on the London and Zagreb bourses last month and plans to sell 20% of phone company Hrvatski Telekom d.d. in Zagreb and on foreign stock exchange in the first half of this year. The state wants at least 130 million kuna, or 1,500 kuna a share, for about 99% of Bizovacke Toplic. It is offering 51% of the Podgora hotel at a starting price of 10.4 million kuna, or 370 kuna per share, and 55% of the hotel in Zivogosce for at least 12.4 million or 370 kuna a share, the statement said. The deadline for bids for Bizovacke Toplice is January 17 and March 5 for the two others. (Bloomberg)