Auchan is looking to bolster its presence in southeastern Europe in cooperation with Hungarian-American investment fund Indotek, with a bid for Slovenian retailer Mercator potentially on the cards, according to local media reports.
According to Slovenian daily Dnevnik, this possibility is being mooted after Indotek acquired the 44% stake that Russian bank Sberbank held in Fortenova Group, a Croatia-based retail, food production and agriculture group.
Analysts believe that Auchan could potentially acquire Slovenia’s largest retailer Mercator, owned by Fortenova Group since April 2021, thus gaining a foothold also in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro.
Logistics Centre Development
Mercator, which saw an improvement in performance last year as pandemic restrictions eased, is also known to be looking for an investor who would participate in the development, financing and construction of its new BTC central logistics centre in Ljubljana.
With an estimated value of €130 million, the project represents the largest single investment in Mercator's history.
Indotek Looks To Expand Retail Presence
As the owner of a number of shopping centers and real estate in Hungary, the Indotek Group is said to be interested in expanding into the retail business.
Indotek is reportedly looking to negotiate a regional partnership with Auchan, which is present in Hungary and Italy.
Elsewhere, the General Shareholders Assembly of Mercator has decided to delist all shares from the regulated securities market.
As a result, Mercator will no longer have to publish quarterly business results on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.
Fortenova Group is expected to sell its agricultural activities, with Croatian investors, mainly pension funds, being mentioned as potential buyers.