The Slovenia Times

Mercator brand returning to Bosnia-Herzegovina by 1 Sept.


The Slovenian retailer had a strong presence in Bosnia-Herzegovina before it was acquired in 2014 by Croatian conglomerate Agrokor, which has since found itself in serious financial difficulties.

Agrokor crisis manager Ante Ramljak said after meeting suppliers in Sarajevo today that studies had shown that giving Mercator back its 83 stores in Bosnia would be the best solution.

Reports have been suggesting the rebranding caused a slump in sales, in particular in the Serbian-dominated entity, the Republic of Srpska, due to lingering animosity to Croatia left over from the Balkan wars.

Ramljak said the plan had been presented to the suppliers today and that it was possible to convince them that the debt to them will be repaid.

When the idea was originally announced in May, Mercator said the main goal was to settle Konzum's liabilities to suppliers in Bosnia "in a mutually acceptable manner" and to take over all of Konzum's employees in the country.

It is unclear what the return to Bosnia would mean for Agrokor's liabilities to Mercator. Unpaid rent for Mercator-owned but Konzum-branded stores in Bosnia and Croatia was the main cause of Mercator's loss of EUR 73m in 2016.


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