Mercator expected to become part of Fortenova by month’s end

Belgrade – Serbia’s competition protection authority has cleared the transfer of Slovenian retailer Mercator to Croatian group Fortenova, thus clearing yet another hurdle for the step that follows the bankruptcy of Fortenova’s predecessor Agrokor. Fortenova expects the transfer to be completed at the end of the month.

Fortenova said in a press release that the approval by the Serbian regulator means the group has met all regulatory preconditions for concentration approval in the countries where this was required: Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia.

Moreover, in September, the European Commission also issued a concentration approval for the EU.

Fortenova expects the transfer of shares to be completed by the end of March. Fortenova CEO Fabris Pruško said the move will allow it to consolidate and continue the development of its regional retail network.

After Agrokor went bankrupt in 2019, a plan was drafted to transfer its healthy assets onto Fortenova. While the majority of companies were transferred shortly after, the transfer of Mercator is taking much longer due to a number of approvals needed from creditor banks and regulators.