Government to intervene in Voda Voda feud

BELGRADE -- The Economy Ministry will enter the Voda Voda feud between new and former owners, Vlade Divac and Vojin Đorđević.

Vlade Divac (FoNet, archive)
Vlade Divac (FoNet, archive)

The ministry is to consider Si&Si President Đorđević’s appeal following his ownership dispute with the former basketball star.

In the meantime, Đorđević has said that the Divac’s registration as a co-owner of Voda Voda, a mineral water producer, was part of a dirty game aimed at usurping the company from him. Đorđević said that certain officials were also involved, though he did not wish to name names.

For Divac to become 30 percent owner of Voda Voda, three steps were envisaged under the terms of the ownership transfer contract. First, 100 percent ownership of Voda Voda was to pass from Si&Si to Đorđević; next, that 100 percent was to be passed on to Divac; the final step was for Divac to invest money, and in so doing, be left with a majority 70 percent stake in the company.

Đorđević calls the deal abnormal. “When I complained to that official and to Nikezić (an associate of Divac), saying that it wasn’t normal for Divac to be at one stage outright owner, I was told that it was almost offensive, that I was sitting with a saint. Vlade Divac is a saint, they said, and he wouldn’t rip anyone off, so we’ll all go together and take the three documents to the agency counter,“ recalled Đorđević.

“I felt a big con, the very moment of being cheated, but I was confident because the founding act would have to be changed, that he couldn’t go to the Agency and that, if he went, they wouldn’t be able to register him. That’s how it was. But, in the end, they managed to register him,“ said the Si&Si owner.

The Business Registers Agency, responsible for registering new owners, confirmed that Divac had been listed as Voda Voda owner based on the contract concluded with Đorđević and the amended founding act which the former basketball player had signed, the agency stressed, in full line with the law.

Agency representative Ružica Mačukat said that Đorđević’s signature to change the act had not even been necessary as the transformation of ownership contract had left Divac as the only member of the company, meaning that he and only he could make changes or supplements to the company’s founding act.

The Economy Ministry will look into whether or not Divac is legally registered as the Voda Voda owner in the next 30 days.

Divac’s representative and Voda Voda director Zvonimir Nikezić did not wish to comment on the dispute, reiterating that Divac had already issued a statement through his press office. In the statement, Divac said that he had legally taken over ownership of the company, and that Đorđević had failed to meet his contractual obligations signed in December of last year involving the sale of his 30 percent holding in Voda Voda and spirit producer Gorki List.