Investment Fund Buys Mlinar, Leading Bakery Company in Croatia

By 9 April 2019

The Mid Europa Partners Fund has entered into the ownership structure of Mlinar, the leading bakery company in Croatia. Mato Škojo will retain a share, but Mid Europa will have a majority stake, according to a statement posted on the website of one of the leading investors in Central and Eastern Europe, reported by Jutarnji List on April 9, 2019.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in Q2 2019.

“We plan to help the company expand internationally, and we look forward to our partnership with Mr Škojo as he continues to support Mlinar's growth,” said Andrej Babache, a partner in Mid Europa, a fund which, according to Škojo, “has an excellent track record in food production and retail."

“Our investment in Mlinar builds on our strong track record in investing in leading CEE retail and consumer businesses. On the retail side, we believe Mlinar can benefit from our experience in accelerated store expansion execution deployed in Zabka and Profi. On the product side, the focus will be on brand equity enhancement and innovation, as successfully implemented in Bambi, our biscuits producer which was recently sold to Coca Cola HBC. We will also look to exploit synergies between Mlinar's frozen bakery programme and product development initiatives at our Polish market leader in frozen food, Hortex,” explained Mid Europe's plans Robert Knorr, a partner in the fund.

Today, Mlinar has more than 230 directly-owned retail outlets in four European countries and has a wholesale business in additional 19 global markets, including Pakistan and Dubai. Franchises have so far been sold in 10 countries on three continents. It employs almost 2,000 workers, while the production is organised in five large bakery plants – two in Osijek, and one each in Poreč, Šibenik and Zagreb.

Mid Europa is a British investment fund that operates in Central and Eastern Europe. Since the beginning of the business operations, they invested around 5.2 billion euros in numerous companies. Established in 1999, Mid Europa has become a pioneer in the private capital sector in the region, with offices in Budapest, Istanbul, London and Warsaw. They have also set up a fund management company on Guernsey Island.

From the very start, they have invested in leading companies in the market, mainly in local growth-oriented industries. Among other deals, in 2015, they became new owners of three Serbian food companies, Imlek, Bambi and Knjaz Miloš, while in March last year they took over the majority share in the Serbian health group MediaGroup.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Lea Balenović, Matea Grbac).

More news about the Mlinar bakery company can be found in the Business section.

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