March 19, 2013
Vlade Divac - Divac remains president of the Serbian Olympic Committee.
April 19, 2011
Vlade Divac - Divac is now president of the Serbian Olympic Committee. Wikipedia carries stories of unsuccessful investments Divac has attempted over the years; mindful of Wikipedia's habit of deleting swaths of its own information, we shall carry that blurb for you here.
Divac has been involved in many non-basketball endeavors while still actively playing in the NBA, and more so after he retired. He is an active restaurant investor in the Sacramento, California area. However, his attempts to make major investments in Serbia failed, for a variety of reasons.
The most notable affair was a highly publicized business venture—takeover bid of profitable beverage producer Knjaz Miloš. Divac's company "Apurna" in a joint venture with French dairy giant Danone ostensibly proposed the best bid, but the takeover was aborted by the Serbia's Securities Commission, because Danone/Apurna allegedly offered extra money to small shareholders. In the repeated bid, Divac and Danone eventually withdrew and the sale went to FPP Balkan Ltd., a privatization fund from Cayman Islands. The entire messy affair caused great friction within the Serbian government, wide speculation about corruption, resignation of the Securities Commission chief, and even police investigation.
Another similar, though less spectacular, episode happened with 2005 Divac's attempt to take over the Ve?ernje novosti, a Serbian high-circulation daily. He made an agreement with small shareholders to take over the company by means of registering a new company with joint capital, which would increase the share capital. However, the Serbian Government intervened and halted what should have been a mere technical move. While the attempted takeover was a "backdoor" one indeed, it was legal and similar cases had already happened. The government ostensibly feared lack of control over the influential daily. Even through the Supreme Court of Serbia eventually ruled in Divac's favor, he withdrew from the contest, citing "friendly advice" by unnamed persons. Embittered, he decided to stop his attempts to invest in Serbia: "All of this is ugly and I'm very upset... I realized that there's no place for me in Serbia and my friends can meet me in Madrid from now on... In Serbia, some different rules are in effect, and I can't conceive them".
However, that turned out not to be true, as in October 2007 Divac got legally registered as 100% owner of Voda Voda, a bottled water brand previously owned by businessman Vojin ?or?evi?. That transaction was also followed by a stir of controversy, as ?or?evi? publicly accused Divac of deceit, asserting that he broke a gentlemen's agreement they had, and questioning the validity of the contract that Divac presented to the Serbian Business Registers Agency. The circumstances surrounding the deal (as of November 2007) are still unclear: Divac claims that he indeed loaned some money to the ?or?evi?'s Si&Si company, which was in financial troubles, and after ?or?evi? failed to fulfill his part of the deal, just used the contract, already properly signed by ?or?evi?, to claim ownership of the company.