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ZAGREB (Croatia), February 17 (SeeNews) - Croatian privately-held concern Agrokor is considering selling its soft drinks and water bottling company Jamnica [ZSE:JMNC-R-A] to Coca Cola, local media reported on Friday.
Agrokor is seeking 800 million euro ($851.6 million) for its controlling stake in Jamnica, but Coca Cola is not willing to pay over 500 million euro, news portal Tportal reported citing unnamed sources from within Agrokor.
Talk of Jamnica's possible sale follows news of Agrokor's over indebtedness, which first became apparent in early January when Moody's cut the corporate family rating (CFR) of the retailer to B3.
"The downgrade reflects our view that Agrokor is not likely to restore credit ratios in line with our previous requirements for a B2 rating in light of the deterioration in operating performance that occurred during the first nine months of 2016," the ratings agency said at the time.
Agrokor then announced it was pulling out of a syndicated loan deal it had struck with several international lenders. The news sent the price of its bonds on international markets into a downward spiral as investors lost confidence in the company's ability to pay back its debts.
Media have been speculating that Agrokor will need to sell off a number of its affiliates in order to service its obligations.
Agrokor, which owns a 76.15% stake in Jamnica, has not commented on its financial stability.
The concern has operations in food and beverages, as well as in food retailing.