Slovenia Wants Mercator to Be Freed from Croatia's Agrokor

By 3 February 2019

ZAGREB, February 3, 2019 - Slovenia's government does not plan to get back Mercator, however, it wants to take this retail company from the embrace of the Zagreb-headquartered Agrokor concern, and Slovenian Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek told the local media on Saturday that the Croatian conglomerate proved to be a poor manager.

"We want to make sure that Mercator will have a more stable business future and create conditions for finding a new owner who will overhaul the company. However, the Slovenian government is not going to buy it back, contrary to some speculations which have recently appeared," the minister told the Maribor-based Većer newspaper.

Počivalšek said that in 2014 when it took over Mercator, Agrokor was actually over-indebted and later it became insolvent, however, the Slovenian minister does not believe that the current Agrokor, which has been restructured, can be a good manager of Mercator.

He also believes that now it is the right time to seek a new owner for Mercator which employs about 10,000 in Slovenia and which annually purchases a half billion products from local suppliers.

The minister refuses to speculate whether some Slovenian companies may be interested in purchasing Mercator from Agrokor now when Russia's Sberbank hinted at the possibility that it would sell its stake in the Croatian concern.

More news on Agrokor can be found in the Business section.