APS enters Croatia with acquisition portfolio, which nominal value significantly exceeds €100 million

APS Holding a. s. (APS), enters the Croatian market with the successful acquisition of a portfolio of non-performing loans (NPL) with the nominal value significantly exceeding € 100 million. The newly established office is expected to have more than 40 employees in the first half of the year.

The acquisition includes secured and unsecured non-performing corporate loans, with the secured positions held against the mostly residential, commercial and industrial property. The portfolio has been acquired from Hrvatska Poštanska Banka with the approval of the Croatian National Bank.

Martin Machoň, CEO of APS comments: "Our target is to assist banks with distressed debts and help debtors to be debt-free under fair and mutually advantageous conditions. We are going to bring our best professional practice based on more than 500 000 debt recovery cases and 13 years of history in the EU market. We are as well looking for other investment opportunities in the dynamic Croatian market."

Since the beginning of 2016, APS has expanded its operations into Croatia, Cyprus, and Hungary. Cypriot expansion is based on a joint venture with the Hellenic bank (APS 51 %, Hellenic Bank 49 %). A newly established company will service a distressed debt portfolio of € 2,4 billion. The transaction was approved by the European Central Bank and Central Bank of Cyprus. Hungarian office was established in January 2017 and starts its operations.

Based on the successful transaction, APS establishes a permanent office in Zagreb, which will service the NPL portfolio.

Victor Angelescu, CEE Regional Director of APS comments: "We expect to employ about 40 debt collection professionals, analysts, and other highly qualified personnel during the first half of 2017. The portfolio from Hrvatska Poštanska Banka is just a start for us and we expect to be successful in other tenders in Q1 2017. Although the first employees are already on board, we are still searching on the market for ambitious and talented people with skills not only in the NPL field."

Viktor Levkanič, Investment Director of APS comments: "We have been actively participating in the NPL transactions in Croatia since the beginning of 2015 when the very first sizable transaction came to the market. During this time, we have built up our local market knowledge, understanding, and relationships. We believe in the market, see a strong potential for further investment opportunities and also trust the long-term performance of the real estate market and the economy overall."

The acquisitions add to APS´s existing advised credit funds, which include 75 NPL portfolios with a total nominal value above € 4.7 billion.