Agrokor Publishes Takeover Intent for Mercator

03. 07. 2014

Agrokor Publishes Takeover Intent for Mercator

Croatian food group Agrokor announced its intent to publish a takeover bid for the outstanding 47% in Slovenia's retailer Mercator it does not already own. Agrokor will reportedly offer EUR 86 per share, the price in last week's acquisition of a 53% stake from a consortium of sellers.

Agrokor, which needs to publish a takeover bid for the remaining shares between 10 to 30 days from now according to law, did not disclose any details, saying only it would respect the deadlines and the Slovenian legislation.


Mercator's Croatian rival paid EUR 172m for the 53% stake, while EUR 86 per share for the remaining stake would mean a total of EUR 324m for the entire takeover. It has moreovertransferred EUR 200m to pay down the Slovenian grocer's debt and EUR 20m for operating capital.


The takeover operations will be managed for Agrokor by brokerage Alta Invest, while today's intent also mentioned Agrokor Investments, a firm registered in the Netherlands which is working in coordination with Agrokor but is not a buyer.



The biggest owners among the holders of the outstanding 47% stake are the Croatian Splitska banka from the Societe Generale group (10.76%) and Unicredit banka Slovenija (8.01%). Moreover, Croatian pension funds operating through the Croatian subsidiaries of Societe Generale and Unicredit also became important owners in recent years.


Slightly over 10% is held by investment firms and mutual funds, while around 13% is in the hands of small shareholders. Though a 62.5% stake in KLM, a firm that holds 2.2% of Mercator, the president of Positive Slovenia (PS) and former Mercator CEO Zoran Janković is also among the shareholders.

UniCredit Banka Slovenija told the STA it never hid its wish to sell the Mercator shares obtained as collateral for loans to the Istrabenz holding, although the bank was not part of the consortium that completed the sale of the majority stake last Friday.


The Slovenian Association of Small Shareholders said that the decision to sell or not is for individual shareholders to make, although it can be expected that they will mostly accept the offer, since this seems safer.


The business daily Finance recently reported that the mentioned Croatian pension funds may react negatively to the offer, since they had bough the shares at a price much higher than EUR 86.


Source: The Slovenia Times


Agrokor Publishes Takeover Intent for Mercator