Agrokor Gives Up
Agrokor cited the failure to reach any kind of agreement with the sellers, a consortium of banks and beverage group Pivovarna Lasko, as the reason for its decision.
Mercator's Croatian rival said that "the whole procedure could potentially take a very long time" and that it believed that continuing the acquisition process could have damaging effects for both companies.
Pivovarna Laško, which holds a 23.3% stake in Mercator, said in a response it would need debt reprogramming, as without the sale it would not be able to repay its EUR 380m debt. CEO Dušan Zorko noted that the Laško group will not be able to repay its loans without selling the stake.
Zorko also called on the government to buy out retailer Mercator through state-run funds, adding that Slovenian politicians were once again facing the challenge of how to solve the triangle between the banks, Mercator and Pivovarna Laško.
Agrokor's repeated attempts to take over Mercator have been met with strong political resistance in Slovenia, which was most significantly reflected in the failure of the state-owned NLB bank, which is part of the consortium with a 10.75% stake in Mercator, to finalise the sale.
Agrokor's decision resulted in Mercator plummeting 7.36% to EUR 129.70 this week on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.