Kastelanski Staklenici, which specialises in the greenhouse production of fruits and vegetables, has managed to overcome a series of daunting setbacks and is now in the final stages of the privatisation process. The company, whose main shareholder today is the Croatian Privatisation Fund, was the leader in its sector in the former Yugoslavia but when the country dissolved, so did its market. Then, Kastelanski Staklenici had to cope with signifi cant damage as a result of bombing during the war.
Finally the company is back on track. Ivo Benzon, Director, explains, “We are ready for privatisation. We have achieved financial balance, we fully own 70 acres of land around the city of Kastelan and all of it has been officially registered, and we have no major mortgage burden. After no investments had been made in the company for around 30 years, we began investing in new equipment and technologies from Israel two years ago and now all our production processes have been completely computerised and we have a new irrigation system.”
Thanks to its determination and recent investments, Kastelanski Staklenici has been accorded GlobaCapl certification, which guarantees the quality of its products. “We are really proud of this certification, since it demonstrates that we are producing fresh, high quality fruits and vegetables,” Ivo Benzon says.
Kastelanski Staklenici has been selling its fruits and vegetables locally and to wholesalers and supermarket chains operating throughout Croatia. This year it entered into a one year, pre privatisation partnership with AgroFruitus, part of the leading Agrokor group, which is financing Kastelanski Staklenici’s production process and purchasing around 60% of its products to sell on the domestic market.
Excellent growth potential for investors
Ivo Benzon says that his goal is to reach a production capacity of four kilos of fruits and vegetables per sq m, which will require additional investment in new technologies. Kastelanski Staklenici offers excellent growth potential. “We have a 40 year track record, 700,000 sq m of property, an excellent location near the sea and Split, and a well-established reputation for high quality products, particularly our Kastelanski tomatoes. We have extensive building land, greenhouses and other facilities to be developed, and a growing market, including in the tourism industry,” he explains.
The company’s privatisation may be announced by the end of this year and Ivo Benzon guarantees that the process will be completely transparent. He concludes, “Kastelanski is a company with potential!”