Croatia’s Studenac Grows Through Acquisitions
Croatian supermarket chain Studenac has rebranded the first 15 stores it took over as part of its acquisition of grocery retailer Sonik Market in December 2019.
The rebranding of Sonik Market, which has 88 stores mostly along the Adriatic coast, should be completed by the end of the year. The Zadar-based chain was acquired from founder Nikola Sorić for an undisclosed sum.
According to Studenac CEO, Michal Senezuk, “our goal is to preserve the value that Sonik represents to its customers and gradually improve the entire offer, but also to provide customers with special benefits”, reported local daily Poslovni Dnevnik.
It's not the only recent acquisition the Croatian operator has made – in March 2020, Studenac announced the acquisition of Dubrovnik-based Pemo with 35 stores in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
Elsewhere, last year, it purchased Istarski Supermarketi, which operates 110 stores in Istria and Rijeka.
The expansion strategy of Studenac through M&A activity follows the 2018 acquisition of the company by Polish private equity fund Enterprise Investors. The new owners announced plans to accelerate the development of the network, participate in market consolidation and enhance the current stores’ performance.
Omiš-based Studenac operates 541 neighbourhood grocery stores, with an average selling space of 120 square metres. Most are located on the coastline and islands, while the rest are in the hinterland and in big coastal cities such as Dubrovnik and Split.
In addition, in 2018, Enterprise Investors added Croatian bakery chain Pan-Pek to its portfolio. The company is one of the biggest producers of frozen bakery products in the Adriatic region, serving modern grocery retailers and operating over 65 bakery stores.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the food retail market in Croatia was enjoying healthy growth on the back of increasing disposable income and a rapid rise in the number of tourists. The country’s grocery retail landscape is gradually evolving toward modern trade formats.
According to Poslovni Dnevnik, Enterprise Investors is planning more M&A operations, both in the retail and food production sectors. Other local supermarket chains with small store formats are seen as a prime target.
Another potential acquisition target is Ledo, a Croatian ice cream and frozen food producer owned by the Agrokor group (now Fortenova).
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine