The Slovenia Times

Agrokor Increases Stake in Mercator to 80.75%


After acquiring a 53.12% stake in Mercator at the end of June from a consortium of sellers, Agrokor published the takeover bid for the outstanding stake in the retailer in late July at the same price of EUR 86 per share.

Agrokor will be able to amend the articles of association of Mercator as it ownership stake exceeds the 75% threshold, but will not be able to squeeze out small shareholders, as it requires at least a 90% to do so.

The biggest owners among the holders of the outstanding stake are the Croatian Splitska banka from the Societe Generale group (10.76%), Unicredit banka Slovenija (8.01%) and Croatian pension funds.

Among the shareholders which accepted the bid is KLM, a firm that holds 2.2% of Mercator and that is in majority ownership of former Mercator CEO and currently Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković.

Confirming the acceptance of the bid, Janković told the press today that the money, around EUR 7.1m, will be used to repay KLM's debt to banks.

Rajko Stanković, the head of the Association of Small Shareholders, told the STA that a relatively large number of small shareholders accepted the bid, assessing this as positive given the years of failed attempts to sell Mercator.

The Croatian conglomerate plans to eventually delist Mercator from the Ljubljana Stock Exchange and merge it with its retail arm Konzum, though this is not the immediate plan.

The acquisition will also mark the start of extensive restructuring for Mercator, according to the prospectus attached to the takeover bid.

Agrokor plans to take over Mercator's chain in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, while Mercator will retain its Slovenian presence and absorb Konzum's chain in Serbia and Montenegro.


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