Sberbank signs agreement to sell 44% of Fortenova in Croatia to Hungarian Indotek

ZAGREB (Croatia), April 9 (SeeNews) – Croatia’s largest private company, Fortenova, which took over from collapsed food retailer Agrokor, said its biggest shareholder, top Russian lender Sberbank, has signed a agreement with the intention to sell its 44% stake in the Fortenova group to the Hungarian asset manager Indotek.

The price of the transaction was not disclosed.

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Completing the transaction requires obtaining regulatory approvals in multiple markets, Fortenova said in a statement late Friday.

“We welcome the entry of Indotek, which we recognize as a long-term strategic partner, into the co-ownership of the Fortenova group and we hope and anticipate that in the coming months, all the necessary approvals to finalize the sale and purchase of shares will be obtained,” Fortenova Group CEO Fabris Perusko said in the statement.

Regardless of a possible change in co-ownership, the Fortenova group continues its regular business activities, the statement added.

“Our operating companies are successfully managing market disruptions caused by rising operating costs and disruptions to some supply chains, which our many customers are not feeling, and we are fully focused on preparing for the this year’s tourist season from which we have high expectations,” Petrusko added.

Fortenova owns Slovenia’s largest food retailer, Mercator, and Croatia’s largest grocery store chain, Konzum. Konzum and Mercator have a large combined market share in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Fortenova is one of the largest companies in South Eastern Europe. It has more than 50,000 employees and operates in three main businesses: agriculture, retail and food, as well as non-core operations. It has manufacturing plants in several countries.

Sberbank became the largest individual shareholder of the Fortenova Group with a 39.2% stake in April 2019 after the struggling Agrokor’s business activities were transferred to the then newly formed Fortenova Group as part of a settlement with creditors .

Last year, the Russian bank raised its stake in Fortenova to 44% by swapping an 18.53% stake in Mercator for shares in Fortenova.

The Indotek group is owned by Hungarian and American shareholders. Its founder, CEO and majority shareholder is Hungarian businessman Daniel Jellinek. Its assets under management are invested primarily in real estate and real estate-secured non-performing corporate loans.

At the beginning of March, the Croatian unit of Sberbank, Sberbank dd, was sold to the local bank Hrvatska Postanska Banka (HPB), within the framework of an extraordinary procedure of the central authority of resolution within the Banking Union of the EU, linked to sanctions against Moscow imposed by the EU for the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Poslovni Sistem Mercator dd is one of the largest companies in SEE, for more references see top 100 companies

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