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ZAGREB (Croatia), January 7 (SeeNews) - Italy's Fincantieri and Australia's Scenic Group are the two companies studying the state of Croatia's financially strained shipbuilding group Uljanik in preparation for a possible strategic partnership, economy minister Darko Horvat said.
Fincantieri is considering a strategic partnership deal with Uljanik in cooperation with Croatia's DIV Grupa, while Scenic Group is already among the customers of Uljanik, Horvat said on Friday, according to a government press release.
The Croatian government hopes that at least one or two more companies will express interest in establishing strategic partnership with Uljanik by January 25, Horvat said.
Both Fincantieri and Scenic Group, as well as the two companies that are expected to enter Uljanik's data room, are able of securing the 150 million kuna ($23.2 million/20.2 million euro) financing urgently needed by the shipbuilding group to avoid insolvency, he added.
Uljanik said on Monday it extended the working hours of its data room in response to high interest by potential investors.
The Uljanik Group comprises two major shipyards -- Uljanik and 3. Maj, along with smaller subsidiaries. The group has been in financial trouble for some time due to the adverse effects of the global financial crisis on the shipbuilding sector in general which has led to a drop in orders for new vessels.
(1 euro = 7.42508 kuna)