The Slovenia Times

Mercator sells Intersport to Polish Enterprise Investors


The deal is worth almost EUR 34.5m.

The transaction is pending approval of market regulators and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Mercator said in a press release on Wednesday.

Michal Kedzia, who is responsible for the investment at the Polish fund, said he wished the transaction to be completed by the end of November.

The transaction ensures further growth for Intersport ISI, while providing Mercator with a strategic partnership in the field of sport equipment, Mercator said.

The sale is part of Mercator's new strategy, which focuses on its primary activity. The sale contract envisages the new owner assuming all employees and operations in the existing shops.

Kedzia, who addressed a news conference in Ljubljana on Wednesday, said there would be no changes in the management of Intersport ISI and that Mateja Jesenek would stay at the helm of the company.

The Polish fund expects the company to grow and open 50 new stores in the next five years and hire more staff.

Kedzia said that the fund Enterprise Investors had so far invested in 15 retailers, but never in a sports goods retailer.

The fund also owns the Czech Kofola, the owner of Slovenian mineral water producer Radenska.

Enterprise Investors is one of the biggest private equity funds in Central and Eastern Europe, established in 1990. It has since founded eight funds with total capital of more than EUR 2bn.

Intersport has been present on the Slovenian market since 1999, when its first shop was opened in a Mercator shopping mall in Ljubljana.

In Slovenia and the Western Balkans, the franchise operated 93 shops with a total of 852 employees at the end of 2015. Last year it generated EUR 81m in revenue.

Intersport International, a leading sporting goods retailer, is present in 65 countries. Its annual revenue stands at EUR 11.3bn.


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