United Left Protests against Sale of Mercator

The protest is to kick of in Prešeren Square in the centre of Ljubljana, from where the protesters will move to the NLB headquarters where they are to demand the management of Slovenia's biggest bank, which had a pivotal say in the sale, to step down. They will end the march in front of the Government Palace.

The United Left condemns the sale of Mercator, stressing that Agrokor has a debt of more than EUR 2.5bn and is far from liquid. The grouping moreover says that the takeover is financed in the same way management buyouts during Slovenia's transition were – with a loan that will burden Slovenia's biggest grocer.

This will lead to squeezing the company, thus endangering jobs, according to the United Left, whose data suggests that Agrokor usually settles its debt to suppliers in five to six months.

Another protest is to take place on Sunday in front of Mercator's biggest shop in the Ljubljana borough Šiška in which employees, unions and suppliers are expected to take part. Former Mercator CEO Zoran Janković is also expected to be on hand.

Agrokor deposited the proceeds for a 53% stake in Mercator with the consortium of sellers on Friday, a day after the takeover was finalised. The proceeds were deposited onto the accounts of the nine sellers yesterday after Agrokor set up a special account to finance the EUR 172m payment on Thursday.