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Croatia's Agrokor signs deal to buy 53.1% stake in retailer Mercator

ZAGREB (Croatia), June 14 (SeeNews) - Croatian privately-held concern Agrokor said on Friday it has signed a sale and purchase agreement with a consortium of shareholders that is selling a 53.1% stake in Slovenian retailer Mercator [LJE:MELR].

Agrokor’s cash offer of 120 euro per share values the Mercator stake at 240 million euro ($320 million) or 452 million euro for the whole company, the Croatian concern said in a statement.

Based in Zagreb, Agrokor is the largest company in Croatia, with operations in food and beverages, as well as food retailing.

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, the successful refinancing of Mercator’s outstanding debt and other customary conditions. The transaction is expected to be completed around the end of 2013. Following the closing of the acquisition, Agrokor will be obliged to publish a mandatory tender offer for the remaining shares of Mercator.

The deal should create one of the largest retail companies in Central and Eastern Europe with around 7.0 billion euro in annual revenues and over 60,000 employees.

Mercator jumped 11.76% to a close of 105.05 euro on the Ljubljana bourse on Friday. The acquisition deal was announced after the end of trading.

($=0.7492 euro)

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