September 25 (SeeNews) - Slovenia's largest food retailer, Mercator, is shedding property assets and preparing to raise capital as it moves into position to acquire its Serbian peer Delta Maxi, Serbian broadcaster b92 reported on Friday.
The acquisition will involve a stock swap and cash payments, b92 (www.b92.net) reported, quoting Slovenian news outlet Finance (www.finance.si).
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Mercator officials did not comment on the Finance article, b92 said.
Mercator has put up for sale 36 property assets in Slovenia and will use the proceeds as a source to finance the acquisition, b92 said.
Mercator said earlier this week it had initiated preliminary proceedings to raise its capital by up to 20% in a bid to secure financial resources for possible investment opportunities in the region. The changes in economic conditions in Southeastern Europe have opened up new opportunities for strategic combinations in the field of trade, real estate, and other activities, Mercator has said.
Finance estimates show that Mercator would need around 400 million euro ($587.4 million) to make the deal happen and that only half the amount will have to be raised during the first phase when it will buy half of Delta Maxi, b92 said.
Outside Slovenia, the Mercator group (www.mercator.si) is present in Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Bosnia. The group has announced plans to enter Albania by the end of 2009 and to also set foot on the markets in Macedonia and Kosovo.
Net sales revenues abroad amounted to 427.8 million euro through June, up 0.5% on the year, Mercator said in its half-year financial report.
Delta Maxi, the retail arm of Serbia's Delta Holding, has around 350 outlets in Serbia and some 90 located in Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania and Bulgaria.
Delta Holding group is owned by Miroslav Miskovic, a Serbian tycoon who emerged in the early 1990s during the rule of ex-Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic.
Mercator, part of the blue-chip SBITOP index of the Ljubljana stock exchange, closed up 0.3% at an average price of 176.73 euro on Friday.
Poslovni Sistem Mercator d.d. is among the biggest companies in SEE. You can download our SEE Top 100 ranking here
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