Mercator becomes part of Fortenova Group’s retail chain

NEWS 23.04.2021 16:03
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Source: Marko Lukunic/PIXSELL

A total of 69.57 percent of Mercator shares were on Friday transferred from Agrokor d.d. to Fortenova Group, whereby this Slovenian company became an integral part of the Retail Division of Fortenova Group, executives of Fortenova and Mercator told a press conference in Ljubljana.

Fortenova now owns 88.1 percent of Mercator shares, and the transfer was conducted in parallel to the refinancing a debt that Mercator had with 55 banks, amounting to €385 million.

“In cooperation with its creditors, HPS Partners and VTB, Fortenova Group has secured the required funds to entirely replace Mercator’s aforementioned debt and thus ensured seamless transfer of ownership of Mercator from a bankrupt to a stable company with a consolidated ownership and creditor structure,” Fortenova said on its website.

2,500 points of sale

As of today, Fortenova Group’s retail network consists of around two and a half thousand Mercator and Konzum points of sale with a total of 39,000 employees working on five markets in the region, with a population of almost 20 million people.

Fortenova’s retail chain consists of about 2,400 Konzum nad Mercator retail outlets with a total of 39,000 employees working in five markets in the region wit ha population of 17.5 million people.

Agrokor had acquired Mercator shares in 2014, but until today Mercator was not operationally integrated into the business of its owner.

“This is a new beginning that opens up a number of new possibilities for all of us,” Fabris Perusko, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors, was quoted as saying.

“Fortenova Group’s new, optimized capital structure provides for stability and the ability for strong investments in our companies going forward to drive their future growth. With Mercator within Fortenova Group we are consolidating the region’s largest retail network, increasing the stability of the supply chain, jobs and tax revenues of the countries in which we operate as well as opening new opportunities and continuing to support the growth of local suppliers,” he said.

Asked by reporters about the future headquarters of Mercator, Perusko answered that the retail company’s main offices would remain in Ljubljana, whereas Konzum’s headquarters remained in Zagreb.

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