Takeover of hardware retailer Merkur Trgovina completed

Ljubljana – Alfi, Slovenia’s largest private equity fund, completed the takeover of hardware retail company Merkur Trgovina on Wednesday and has already appointed a new management team with Jure Kapetan as director general, Merkur said in a press release. The Slovenian regulator cleared the deal last month.

While Merkur Trgovina did not say how much Alfi paid for the company, the business newspaper Finance reports the deal is worth some EUR 50 million and the money has already been transferred to HPS Investment Partners. The US fund bought Merkur’s retail business from the bankruptcy estate in July 2017 for EUR 28.56 million.

Finance reports that Alfi has also bought the stakes held by companies Monetic and TCK that are connected with Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić (21%) and by Gorenjska Banka (14%).

The Merkur Trgovina assembly appointed Kapetan the company’s director general and Miha Kravanja director to succeed Blaž Pesjak and Igor Maroša, respectively.

“Both have rich experience in managerial jobs, including in retail, which they have acquired both at home and abroad,” the release reads.

Until the end of 2021, Kapetan was a director at retailer Engrotuš, while Kravanja’s previous job was executive director at the Klemen Transport company.

Building on the company’s 125 year tradition in Slovenia, Merkur Trgovina intends to expand its retail network and upgrade and expand its online store, said Kapetan.

He added in the press release that the company is embarking on demanding digital transformation.

Merkur Trgovina generated a net profit of EUR 250,000 on EUR 220 million in revenue in 2020 when stores were affected by lockdown. In 2019 it made EUR 4.8 million in net profit on EUR 237 million in revenue.

Alfi is meanwhile also interested in Merkur Nepremičnine, a company which emerged in 2014 together with Merkur Trgovina when Merkur went into receivership, according to Finance.

The company leases its own real estate and manages its own and others’ real estate, including all of Merkur Trgovina’s stores and logistics capacities.

The Bank Assets Management Company published a call for binding bids for an almost 63% stake in it and claims worth EUR 13 million last August.

Finance says that the deal is expected to be completed soon.

Alfi has been busy acquiring assets in Slovenia, including by consolidating private veterinary hospitals and private health centres providing image diagnostics. It has also acquired grocer Tuš from creditors and bought Trival, an antenna provider.