Slovenia's largest shipping firm Intereuropa is relaunching a bid to merge with the country's only port operator Luka Koper following last October's change of government. The two companies first planned to merge last year but called off the deal in April because the-then government was demanding the right to veto management decisions in the new firm. The Slovenian government owns
51 percent of Luka.
"Slovenia is getting closer to membership of the European Union and we believe the present government will support the merger," said Radovan Vrabec
, deputy director of Intereuropa. He said the merger, which Intereuropa hoped to complete this year, would enable the two companies to expand their logistics network and improve competitiveness ahead of joining the EU. The new government of center-left Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek has made preparations for EU membership a key goal. Slovenia hopes to join the EU in 2003. Vrabec said Intereuropa expected
to report 2000 net profit of some $8.9 million, slightly below 1999's numbers. – (Reuters)