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Croatian Agrokor, Mercator agree new takeover terms
February 28, 2014 / 6:57 PM / 4 years ago

Croatian Agrokor, Mercator agree new takeover terms

LJUBLJANA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - 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 capital.

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 close. ($1 = 0.7240 euros) (Reporting by Almir Demirovic, Writing by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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