LJUBLJANA Feb 28 Croatian top food producer and
retailer Agrokor and owners of Slovenia's largest food retailer
Mercator agreed new takeover terms as a deadline for
Mercator's debt restructuring expired on Friday.
Restructuring of Mercator's debts was a key condition for
the takeover deal to be implemented.
Under the new deal, Agrokor will pay 86 euros ($120) per
share down from a previous offer of 120 euros per share, thus
valuing Mercator at 323.8 million euros, said Pivovarna Lasko,
Slovenia's largest beverage producer which holds a 23-percent
stake in Mercator.
The parties also agreed "among other things" to extend the
transaction deadline to June 30, said Pivovarna Lasko, part of a
consortium of 12 local firms and banks which want to sell their
combined 53.1 percent stake in Mercator.
Last June, Agrokor signed a deal on buying the majority
stake in Mercator. The new company would have revenue of 7
billion euros and would employ 60,000 people, Agrokor said.
Slovenian daily Finance reported that under the new terms,
Agrokor would also boost Mercator's capital by 225 million
euros, including 200 million immediately to repay its debts to
banks and the remaining 25 million euros to boost working
Its previous offer did not include a capital boost.
The national STA news agency said that creditor banks also
need to extend a 100 million loan to settle Mercator's debt
which amounts to about 1 billion euros.
Mercator's owners include the heavily indebted brewery
Pivovarna Lasko and the top local bank, NLB, one of five lenders
the government had to rescue with a 3.2 billion-euro capital
boost in December.
Shares in Mercator, with a market capitalisation of $384.5
million, traded at 74.49 euros, up 2.04 percent from Thursday's
($1 = 0.7240 euros)
(Reporting by Almir Demirovic, Writing by Maja Zuvela; Editing
by Elaine Hardcastle)