The investment Agreement was signed today by EBRD's president Mr. Jean Lemierre and Agrokor's president Mr. Ivica Todorić at EBRD's headquarters in London. The EBRD is acquiring an 8.33 per cent equity stake in Agrokor, the largest food manufacturer and retailer in Croatia, to help the company implement its long-term strategy to maintain the leading position in the country as well as Southeast Europe in its core businesses. The Bank will invest up to €110 million for the equity stake that will also help Agrokor restructure its balance sheet following a series of domestic and foreign acquisitions. It will also help the company prepare for an initial public offering in the future. EBRD President Jean Lemierre said Agrokor is a successful company growing regionally, promoting economic growth and jobs in Croatia and beyond. The company is an example to domestic businesses of what can be achieved on a regional level, said Mr Lemierre. The Bank's investment will enable Agrokor to build its business, further boosting domestic growth and at the same time raising its profile among investors for an IPO, he added. Agrokor President Ivica Todoric emphasized how Agrokor, as one of the largest regional companies, today has a position on the global markets, proving its long term, clearly defined strategy and vision, and that this was based on the knowledge and skills of the management of the company. The EBRD investment in Agrokor absolutely confirms these values, and moreover, the investment will enable Agrokor to further develop its core businesses internationally, supporting its growth. Established in 1976 by Mr Todorić for the production of flowers and flower seedlings, Agrokor is today one of the most successful companies in Croatia and is the leading Croatian producer and retailer of food products - including mineral water, ice-cream, edible oil, margarine and mayonnaise - in the country and regionally. This latest investment builds on the long-standing cooperation between the EBRD and Agrokor. In 2000, the Bank provided Agrokor with a €170 million syndicated loan for restructuring and regional expansion, and in 2004 the Bank financed Agrokor's ice cream subsidiary Frikom in Serbia with a €13 million loan. To date, in the agribusiness sector alone, the EBRD has committed around €4 billion in more than 280 projects across central and eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. In Croatia, Bank has invested €1.3 billion in around 76 projects, and expects to invest a further €100 million in the country in 2006.