Koper-Based Moped Maker Seeking New Strategic Partner

By , 17 Oct 2018, 10:30 AM Business
Some of the models produced by Tomos, including the one used by the Slovenian Post Office Some of the models produced by Tomos, including the one used by the Slovenian Post Office tomos.si

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STA, 16 October - Tomos, the Koper-based manufacturer of the internationally-renowned moped brand, is looking for a strategic partner to help it deal with liquidity issues. 

The company' boss and owner Iztok Pikl addressed reporters on Tuesday in the wake of media reports alleging mounting problems at the company since it was taken over by Pikl in 2015.

Pikl also confirmed that the national postal company Pošta Slovenije had halted due diligence at Tomos and all steps designed to enter the company as a shareholder.

Nevertheless, Pikl keeps hoping that Pošta Slovenije will change its mind so that Tomos will get a strategic partner. Otherwise, Tomos will try to find a solution with banks.

Pikl said that he had taken over the company when it was in liquidation and that he had invested a lot of his own funds and guarantees in it.

He confirmed media reports that the company's account had been temporarily blocked by the Financial Administration, but said that Tomos had settled its liabilities stemming from social contributions.

The company still owes EUR 50,000 to Hidria, Tomas's previous owner, which it leases premises from, as well as money to some buyers and suppliers, but talks are under way to reschedule payments.

TV Slovenija recently reported that, apart from owning back rent to Hidria, Pikl also violated the agreement on the Tomos brand, which is still owned by Hidria. Despite the ban he kept using the brand.

Commenting on that, Pikl said that all current liabilities stemming from the brand had been settled and that they would be able to acquire the brand after settling certain payments due this and next year.

Once the liabilities related to the brand are fully settled, the company will also vacate the premises to move to a more suitable location which would allow it to open its own store and repair shop.

Pikl said that Tomos might move out of Koper, but would stay in Slovenia.

He denied the reports that the company had halted production due to lack of liquidity at any time, as well as the allegations that the employees were leaving in droves.

Whether wages would be paid on time would depend on talks with partners and banks. Tomos has taken out a EUR 550,000 loan from SID Bank that matures in 12 years with a six-year moratorium period.

According to Pikl, Tomos supplies motorcycles to the markets of the US, Morocco, Asia, the Scandinavian and Benelux countries. It also plans developing electric mopeds.

Founded in 1954, Tomos makes traditional mopeds as well as scooters, including for postal companies, in particular in the region of the former Yugoslavia.

The company put out around 2,000 motorcycles in 2015, but only plans to manufacture 1,200 this year. Orders have tripled, while stocks are worth more than a million euro.

"It's true though that we don't have enough liquidity so we're looking for a partner," Pikl said, adding that the company should put out 240 to 280 motorcycles a year to operate at a profit.

You can contact Tomos at the company’s website.

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