STA, 3 January 2019 - Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić is well on his way to become a key player in the tourism industry on the Slovenian coast. The owner of two major hotels now also owns more than 53% of the local airport operator, Aerodrom Portorož, according to the website of the Agency for Public Legal Records (AJPES).
Kostić controls Aerodrom Portorož through Hotel Palace Portorož, which recently acquired a 15.2% stake in the airport operator from port operator Luka Koper.
Hotel Palace Portorož bought a 30.5% in Aerodrom Portorož in 2017 and increased its stake to 38.2% in February 2018.
Kostić has also attempted to take over Marina Portorož, the operator of the only marina on the Slovenian coast, and late last year managed to undermine the state's plan to bring under one roof the key tourism infrastructure and consolidate it in order to sell at a higher price later on.
After taking control of Gorenjska Banka last year, he reportedly persuaded the bank's supervisory board to back out of an agreement to sell to the state-owned Sava, the largest tourism player in Slovenia, a 9.17% stake in Hoteli Bernardin.
Not only that, Kostić increased his stake in the hotel chain to over 10%, making it impossible for the state (which owns more than 84% in the chain) to squeeze him out under Slovenian law.