CVC Capital Partners Eyes Acquisition of Studenac

By Branislav Pekic
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CVC Capital Partners Eyes Acquisition of Studenac

Luxembourg-based venture capital firm CVC Capital Partners has reportedly expressed interest in buying Croatian supermarket chain Studenac, two sources familiar with the matter told Croatian news portal Lider.

Studenac is currently owned by Enterprise Investors, which purchased the chain six years ago from local businessman Josip Milavič.

A forthcoming sale is thought to be likely because Enterprise Investors typically exit from invested companies within five years. Last year, it hired JP Morgan to explore strategic options for Studenac.

CVC sought to enter the Croatian retail market two years ago, by taking over Tommy, but the owner of the local retail chain, Tomislav Mamić, was not satisfied with the amount of offers received and the deal was unsuccessful.

Studenac In Croatia

Studenac is currently ranked sixth in the Croatian retail market,  behind Konzum, Lidl, Spar, Plodine, and Kaufland.


Large foreign retail chains are thought to be unlikely suitors for the business, with pan-European investors often preferring deals that include real estate and large stores, which Studenac lacks.

As a result, regional chains like Zabka or Bierodnka from Poland are more likely candidates, according to Lider.

Financial Concerns

While Studenac's revenue is high due to aggressive acquisitions, profit margins are shrinking due to rising salary costs and a raft of acquisitions.

A significant portion of Studenac's assets are classed as goodwill, meaning the company may have paid more for acquired businesses than their actual value, according to Lider.


Another concern is Studenac's free cash flow (FCF). Although positive, FCF hasn't grown as fast as revenue because of investments in rebranding and remodeling acquired stores.

In 2022, Studenac had to increase loans and rely on additional investments from the owner to cover acquisition costs of €70.5 million.

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