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VOP: Find new investor or close

DEFENCE Minister Ľubomír Galko is preparing to name a crisis manager for Vojenský Opravárenský Podnik (VOP) Nováky, a state-run joint-stock military maintenance company that he says is in the worst financial condition of all the companies under his ministry’s jurisdiction.

DEFENCE Minister Ľubomír Galko is preparing to name a crisis manager for Vojenský Opravárenský Podnik (VOP) Nováky, a state-run joint-stock military maintenance company that he says is in the worst financial condition of all the companies under his ministry’s jurisdiction.

“We need to find a strategic investor, or we haven’t ruled out that we may have to liquidate the company,” Galko said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. In that case, approximately 200 people would lose their jobs.

The company’s fate should be determined within six months. Meanwhile, Galko said, €400,000 has been reallocated to VOP Nováky to provide for wages, and the ministry will transport ammunition to the company for employees to work on in the coming months, SITA wrote.

“However, this is not a solution that can be repeated again and again in the future,” SITA quoted Galko as saying. “The Defence Ministry has ammunition which could be dismantled, but we have no funds for granting these contracts to VOP Nováky.”

At this point, VOP Nováky is fully dependent on the ministry's contracts, he said. “We are currently able to sell the ammunition,” Galko said. “We are able to get rid of it without this costing us any money.”

Citing comments by employees, Galko said that some funds already provided to the company had been used for purposes other than lifting it out of debt, such as buying new windows, but added that it is too late now to do anything about that.

Galko agrees with the unions, which have stated that strategic investors could aid the ailing company, and said it doesn’t matter whether it’s a domestic or a foreign investor, but that the state should retain majority ownership.


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