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ZAGREB (Croatia), September 18 (SeeNews) - Cyprus-registered Kappa Star, which is owned by Serbian businessman Nebojsa Saranovic, said it has acquired a stake of 5.35% in Croatian confectionery producer Kras [ZSE:KRAS].
The announcement comes after days of speculations about the mysterious buyer of Kras shares, whose price on the Zagreb stock exchange more than doubled since the beginning of September, especially after Croatian meat producer Braca Pivac revealed its buyout plans for Kras on September 9.
Kappa Star said that on September 16 its stake in Kras surpassed the 5.0% legally prescribed threshold which requires a shareholder to inform the public about its identity and holdings, it said in a statement posted on the Zagreb bourse website on Wednesday.
Kras shares traded up 16.31% at 855 kuna ($128/116 euro) an hour before close on Wednesday after ending down 6% a session earlier. Its share price was below 400 kuna before the buyout plans were announced.
Braca Pivac has said it plans to launch a joint buyout bid with local trading company Kras-ESOP for the remaining stake of 50.82% in Kras the two firms do not own yet. Even if Kras-ESOP decides not to join, Braca Pivac has said it will proceed with its buyout offer.
As of September 18, the list of Kras shareholders on the bourse website had not been updated to reflect Kappa Star's holdings.
It showed that Braca Pivac holds a 30.73% stake in Kras, followed by Kras-ESOP with 18.45% and Kras itself with 5.03%. The remainder belongs to smaller shareholders with stakes of less than 4%.
In Serbia, Kappa Star controls confectionery maker Jaffa Crvenka and paper and cardboard producer Umka, among others.
(1 euro = 7.39622 kuna)