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Agrokor successfully closes Mercator acquisition process

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The combined Group becomes the leading company in Southeast Europe

The Agrokor Group today successfully closed the process of acquiring the majority stake of Poslovni sistem Mercator and became its majority owner. The total value of the transaction amounts to EUR 544m, out of which EUR 324m are for the acquisition of 100 per cent of shares, EUR 200m will be used for deleveraging Mercator's financial position and EUR 20m for working capital requirements of Mercator's operations. 

Based on the Agreement which Agrokor signed on 14th June, 2013 with the consortium of twelve sellers on acquiring a 53.12% stake of Poslovni sistem Mercator, as well as subsequent arrangements with the Mercator shareholder banks, Agrokor has paid the majority share package and thus taken over the majority stake of the company. The final takeover was preceded by an arrangement with the banks, set forth in the Agreement, to reprogram Mercator's debt in the amount of EUR 1bn, as well as by regulatory approvals in all countries where both Mercator and Agrokor operate.  

Together the two companies shall generate almost EUR 7bn of annual revenues, employ more than 64,000 people and be the leader in retailing and food manufacturing in the region and beyond. 

Ivica Todorić, President of the Agrokor Group, said on the occasion of closing the transaction: „The acquisition of the majority stake of Poslovni sistem Mercator by Agrokor has created the largest business conglomerate in emerging Europe. This is a joint victory achieved by the business community, the expression of our determination to continuously raise the level of success and competitiveness on the grounds of a well-considered vision. Hereby we will also start to create new values for all consumers and a more secure future for all employees, to initiate further growth of the region's industry and open up new markets for the manufacturers. 

Our success is the more significant and encouraging given the circumstances and conditions under which we have been operating over the last few years. This provides new hope that together we will be able to generate even more significant development and growth and even better business results, as may be expected in a more favorable business atmosphere for which we hope in the years to come. We have, as a company, with our business approach and entrepreneurial, reform-minded enthusiasm, contributed not only to the development and prosperity of Agrokor itself, but also to a more harmonious development of the countries and region of our operation. EU membership now provides new dimensions to our development and growth possibilities. We have been and strived to be the stabilizing factor in an overall instable economic environment, while always having in mind the principles of economic success. As such we have been recognized within the economic and business constellations on global, regional and national level, by everyone with whom we cooperate, and have enjoyed whole-hearted support for our systematic growth, for the strengthening and implementation of our business vision as well as financial and economic goals.  

Agrokor considers its employees to be the most important part of its business success and enables their personal development and advancement. Only last year Agrokor organized more than 50,000 internal and external education programs for its employees. We have thus proved to believe in betterment based on the permanent education of and respect for our employees, creating a positive working atmosphere. It is on this foundation that our operations have been based since the very beginning, and particularly since 1996 when Agrokor, as the first private company in Croatia, signed a collective agreement with the Unions, with whom it has had a continuous social dialogue and a high-level partnership in all countries of its operations. Finally, such approach has provided for our recognizable growth and development and the acknowledgement among the business and broader community, and enabled us to meet the highest ethical and business standards and create our own corporate culture.  

The combination of Agrokor and Mercator will generate a higher level of employment and open up great possibilities to improve the regional supplier structure as well as generate growth opportunities for the food and other industries. Last but not least, the integration will enable all manufacturers in the region to increase sales volumes and open new markets, as well as serious perspectives for third markets presence. 

The ultimate goal of the entire process is to create new value for all consumers, who will benefit from better services, improved offering of goods, more stable and cheaper prices. This process also provides for better development possibilities of employee competencies as well as further employment and education of young people and encourages similar moves in the region. 

Finally, by acquiring the majority stake of Poslovni sistem Mercator, Agrokor has shown respect for the successes achieved and tradition built by Mercator in the course of its long-standing business development. Two successful paths shall inevitably merge into one, even stronger and more efficient. We are convinced that with this step we shall together build a globally competitive and prosperous company to the greatest satisfaction of our consumers, business partners and all our employees. 

I would like to use this opportunity to thank all our consumers, suppliers and customers, all our partners and our employees who have contributed to this great business success of which we are immensely proud.“