Czech investors René Matera and Jaroslav Strnad dominated the Croatian Đuro Đaković Group d.d.

Czech investors René Matera and Jaroslav Strnad dominated the Croatian Đuro Đaković Group d.d.

The demanding investment project, which began in 2020, was completed at DDG's Annual General Meeting on 31 August 2022.

Đuro Đaković Group d.d (DDG) is one of the leading companies in the metal processing industry in Croatia with a long tradition and reputation in the region and worldwide. It has been operating in a wide range of sectors as a supplier of industrial equipment and vehicles in the energy, construction, rail, and defense industries. Currently, its main production program is the manufacture of rail freight wagons of various types.

Czech entrepreneurs acquired the Croatian group DDG through the investment vehicle DD ACQUISITON a.s., which is owned 35 % by PROMET GROUP a.s. (ultimate owner René Matera) and 65 % by CE INDUSTRIES a.s. (ultimate owner Jaroslav Strnad).

At DDG's Annual General Meeting held on 31 August 2022, the Czech investor contributed a total of HRK 232 million to DDG, which is a combination of cash and fixed assets. Against this capital, 23.2 million new shares will be subscribed. The resulting ownership share of the Czech investor is 82 %.

Matera and Strnad first became business partners in 2013, when they jointly acquired the Tatra automotive company in Kopřivnice, which they successfully managed to recover from the crisis. "Đuro Đaković is a symbol of Croatian industry and was going through a protracted crisis before our accession. Unlike Tatra, where we were the only serious applicants, here, as Czech investors, we succeeded in a tough competition in which prominent local entrepreneurs also participated. As in the case of Tatra, we feel a great responsibility towards our employees, customers, and Croatia,” said Jaroslav Strnad, owner CE Industries.

The Croatian government decided on the need for a new strategic investor to enter DDG, which faced to liquidation problems, in 2020. In the middle of this year, DDG's management issued a public invitation on the Zagreb Stock Exchange to participate in a tender for a strategic investor to recapitalize and become the majority shareholder of the group.

Last year, Đuro Đaković was established with a new management team, headed by Czech manager Pavel Maroušek, a member company's board of directors and CEO. Under his leadership, sales have increased from 260 wagons in 2022 to about 600 in 2021. For 2023, order intake is secured for about 800 wagons. At the same time, 2022 and 2023 are expected to bring the highest wagon sales numbers in Đuro Đaković's history. In order to achieve success, it was necessary to set up new logistics and technological processes in the company and gain the trust of European major railway companies.

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