Honorable Court Chamber,
I am Miroslav Mišković:
Former General Manager of Župa, the youngest winner of AVNOJ prize.
- Župa was a state-run company which employed 1.700 workers
- It produced 43% of the world production of xanthate, the substance for floating non-ferrous metal ores.
- We also produced under the German brand of Hoechst and the American brand Cyanamide.
- Župa exported to the markets of Europe, Asia, North and South America.
- It was the biggest producer of substances for plant protection in former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.
- It had the most modern electrolysis in Yugoslavia.
- Župa was the company with the highest average salary in Yugoslavia in the eighties.
- There was not a single employee with the faculty degree and 2,5 years of working experience who was not given a flat.
- Unfortunately, today we can only state that Župa does not exist any longer. The company has 20 employees with part-time jobs.
The founder of Delta Holding, which started with four trainees 23
years ago in the Slavija Hotel.
- Few people know that Delta grew and developed while being the subject of various speculations for many years. We are guilty of that – my team and I, because we have deeply believed that our results speak for themselves and that it is not necessary to defend the successful business system we have created, or the fact that we have been working and earning.
- In the nineties, because of the sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia and inability to operate normally, primarily with foreign banks and other international institutions, we moved our business operations into the Russian market. In Siberia we became owners of the Baikal Cellulose Plant, which placed the largest part of its production into the Asian market. In that period our main market was Russia, where we signed the agreement about representing Nike Company in the countries of the former Soviet Union. That is the period when we earned over 250 million dollars in the Russian market. By moving our businesses into foreign markets we also managed to keep the best-quality personnel Delta had.
- In that period we represented eminent brands Fiat, Nestle and Beiersdorf (Nivea) in Serbia.
- After 2000 we began to develop more intensively in the Serbian market. We defined our strategic business: retail, agriculture and real estate development. In order to enable the development of those businesses in Serbia, we sold the Baikal Cellulose Plant in Siberia and invested the money in our country.
- In the period between 2005 and 2011 Delta brought foreign investments worth 1,5 billion euros to Serbia.
- In 2005 Delta Bank was sold to Italian Banca Intesa for 400 million EUR
- In 2006 we sold 50% of the shares of Delta Insurance to Generali Group for 120 million EUR
- In 2011 we sold Delta Maxi to Belgian Delhaize Group for 932,5 million EUR
- This money, particularly from the sale of Delta Bank and Delta Insurance, was also invested in Serbia, into the development of retail network, into the purchase and modernization of agricultural estates in Serbia and other production facilities: factories Yuhor, Danubius and Florida Bel.
- In the period of the most intensive development of Delta the overall debts of the company were 1,1 billion EUR in the largest world banks, which proves exceptional trust in Delta and its owner. In order to get such loans from the world banks, you must have extraordinary credibility. The public should know who the owner of Delta is: the banks, the employees and then I myself.
- All this, plus about one billion euros of bank loans, enabled us to become the biggest company in Serbia and the third biggest in the region. Delta employed 25.000 people earning almost 3 billion EUR per year, which at that time was about 10% of the gross domestic product in Serbia.
- There have never been strikes
- Salaries have always been regularly paid out
- We have particularly invested in the personnel, in young people and kept a great number of educated young experts in Serbia by giving them a chance to progress in their own country.
- I would like to point out that at the peak of its development in 2010 Delta earned 81% of income through the companies it established and developed itself. Less than 19% of income was realized by the companies which were included into our business system through the process of privatization and acquisition, and in which we invested over 400 million euros
Delta today: 8.000 employees
- In 9 months this year we had 445 million EUR turnover, and we expect to finish the year with the turnover of 700 million EUR. In these 9 months we paid 73,6 million EUR of taxes to the state and everyone knows in what sort of conditions Delta worked in the first 9 months of this year.
- Present partners: Generali, BMW, Nike, Honda, DuPont (Pioneer), InterContinental Hotels Group, Beiersdorf, Ferrero, Costa, Syngenta, BASF…
- In 9 months we organized 228 socially useful activities, which included 36.000 users. We donated as many as 1,2 million EUR.
- I am particularly proud of constructing the Daycare Centre for children with disabilities – that is the first foundation in Serbia ever since World War Two. We have invested 3 million euros in it.
- In our work we have kept to the principle that Delta Holding will never work with the Serbian state and state-run enterprises. That is why and do not understand how Delta or and can be connected with corruption?
My image in the public
I, Miroslav Mišković, born in the Morava River region, must introduce myself today to the court chamber, the prosecution and the public. I have not spoken about myself publicly for 23 years, but now the time has come to do it. Why?
Because the Serbian public is familiar with me only through the tabloids. And how have I been presented to the Serbian public?
If tabloids are read, the public can see me as the man who commits at least one criminal offense every day, someone who steals something, who cheats someone, who behaves arrogantly to everyone, someone who has people arrested, someone who launders money, maltreats employees and is self-willed.
While we were owners of Maxi, newspapers wrote that we were monopolists who robbed the citizens of Serbia by high prices. I sold Maxi in 2011 to a foreign company and now I am asking you this: how is it possible that no one has mentioned monopoly and robbing the citizens since then although the prices have remained the same, as well as the number of retail points and their locations?
They used to write about unlawful conversion of the land although that conversion never took place. In the end we returned the land and the transaction with Bauhaus, which should have brought 100 million euros to Serbia, failed. Up to this day my money for that location has not been returned to me despite the fact that we gave the location back to the city authorities almost a year ago.
It was also told in public that Mišković wanted to take Red Star. We have never wanted to buy Red Star and Delta has never considered or negotiated the takeover of Red Star.
They have accused me of pulling down the Nazi concentration camp in Autokomanda and that I do not respect the memory of the Holocaust victims. The truth is that at our location there is a deserted and inappropriately marked place on the grounds of the former collection centre, which in that manner actually destroys the memory of Nazi victims. We planned to mark this space in the way it deserves, to raise the memorial in agreement with the Jewish community and by the plan of the outstanding Jewish architect, the member of the nation which knows best what holocaust is and what sort of attitude we must have to it.
Just have a look at today’s edition of “Evening News” and the headline “Robbed the companies of 17 billion”. Does the court in this procedure have to prove that we robbed the companies or the ruling has already been made? What do you think, what will my partners in Nike, BMW or Pioneer think on seeing such headlines in the press?
I could list a host of other negative adjectives but I am not going to take your time.
Honourable Chamber of Judges,
I have never had anyone arrested and those people should be ashamed: Džajić, who has never denied those rumours; Djordje Antelj, whose family used to come to see me while he was in prison, as well as some others who blamed acts of God for their failures in private and business matters. And Mišković happened to be that act of God.
Now this businessman has come up, the one trading in military equipment, I do not know his name, and he says that I bought a military location in agreement with Tadić. I have never bought anything from the army and I have never had any agreements with Tadić.
The tabloids have also accused me of working together with the state but we have never had anything with the state and the state-run enterprises. We have never received any aid from the state. For example, when we wanted to buy Merkator and when the negotiations were about to finish, we had 23 meetings in Slovenia, Italy, Austria and Croatia. The Serbian state not only failed to help me but it tried to prevent me from completing that business. High officials of the Serbian authorities told the representatives of the Slovenian government that “Delta” was not able to complete that transaction although I had already managed to be financed by a large European bank. If I had not been stopped in that transaction, Serbia would now have the largest retail chain in Southeast Europe, which would be huge support to our agriculture and food industry. Today we do not have a national retail chain and that is the biggest problem of our economy.
I am rather surprised as well to read these days that former President Boris Tadić says that during his mandate I was not arrested because the prosecution had no evidence for my arrest. Now I wonder what evidence has come up in the meantime.
Miroslav Mišković is completely different. I am a man born and bred in the region of Pomoravlje. I grew up in a patriarchal family and I achieved my first business successes in Chemical Industry Župa. I am the man who set up Delta 23 years ago.