STA, March 8, 2018 – US IT company EON Reality has withdrawn from a planned investment into a EUR 17m regional app development hub in Maribor after Slovenia declined its request for a subsidy over its capital inadequacy. The company is reportedly moving the investment to Hungary.
Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek told the STA on Wednesday that the ministry had rejected the request because "the investor's losses, which amounted to more than half of the company's stock capital, are such that the company reached capital inadequacy".
The assessment of the company was carried out by a special commission and the consultancy PwC.
The minister also said that the company could not get the subsidy under Slovenian or European law, rejecting claims by Maribor Mayor Andrej Fištravec that the state had once again caused Maribor to lose an IT investment.
In reference to Slovenia's failure to attract an investment by computer giant IBM in 2016, Fištravec said there were again reports of inadequate communication, excessive red tape and irresponsiveness from the state.
"The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology labelled EON Reality a troubled company, while our neighbours and other European countries don't see it this way at all," the mayor said, lamenting the loss of the expected 250 high-tech jobs.
"We could have ensured the future for our most promising Maribor students, but you have taken it away from them with your decision," Fištravec added.
EON Reality was said to be mulling erecting a development and sales centre in Maribor that would cover Austria, Italy, Hungary and Romania, Simon Štrancar, the company's liaison in Slovenia and the head of the Maribor city administration, told the business paper Finance.
Moreover, he said that it was true that EON Reality had negative capital, but that was because it had bought a loss-making company and was planning to turn it around, newspaper Večer reported.