Croatian regulators approve Petrol’s takeover of Crodux, Iskra’s takeover of Elka

Zagreb – The Croatian Competition Agency (CCA) has given Slovenia’s energy company Petrol a green light on the takeover of Croatian petroleum products seller Crodux as well as authorised the Iskra electronics group to acquire Croatian electric cable manufacturer Elka.

Petrol signed the acquisition deal with Crodux in January and will thus become the second biggest player in the Croatian market after the Croatian oil company Ina. Rounding up the top five oil giants in the Croatian market are Russian Lukoil, Hungarian Tifon and a newcomer, the international oil giant Shell.

“The takeover of Crodux will give Petrol a 20-30% share on the market considering all Petrol-owned gas stations in Croatia, while Ina will keep its 40-50% market share,” reads a press release by the CCA.

Petrol will also, at least for now, keep the well-known Crodux trademark. Previously owned by businessman Ivan Čermak, Crodux generated EUR 760 million in sales revenue in 2019. The Croatian Jutarnji List newspaper speculated today that Čermak had sold Crodux for around EUR 200 million, almost doubling the amount he paid when taking over gas stations from the Austrian energy company OMV in 2013 when he founded Crodux.

The CCA has emphasised that all energy companies will continue to operate and new big-shots can come into play on the Croatian oil market as well. According to their estimate, Petrol is unlikely to increase oil prices as there are other competing companies present.

At the same time, the CCA has decided to approve Iskra’s takeover of Elka. The companies signed the deal in May but did not disclose its value. This is the second major investment Iskra has made in Croatia after its acquisition of the NCP shipyard in the coastal town of Šibenik. The takeover is expected to boost business cooperation even more,” the competition watchdog concluded.

It is expected that the business transaction will have a positive effect on the EU cable industry as Iskra is actively investing in new tech solutions and further development. The Iskra-Elka cooperation could also increase the availability and quality of their products.