Croatia-based food producer and retailer Fortenova Group is set to undergo a significant ownership restructuring, following the approval by its shareholders to sell the company's core assets to a newly formed holding company, effectively removing sanctioned shareholders from the ownership structure.
The transaction entails the sale of 100% of Fortenova Group MidCo's shares to a newly established Dutch company, Iter BidCo, for a maximum of €660 million.
The financing is to be secured through contributions from non-sanctioned shareholders and a committed investment from Open Pass Ltd.
The future ownership structure will hinge upon the interest of current non-sanctioned shareholders in making additional equity investments. However, all eligible equity holders will have the opportunity to participate in the new structure under identical terms.
Current non-sanctioned shareholders now have the option to transfer their stakes to the new holding company, increase their ownership by investing further, or completely exit the company.
Sanctioned shareholders will receive compensation for their ownership, with the funds held in escrow until they can be accessed.
The approval of this transaction marks the fourth instance in which Dutch courts have dismissed legal challenges brought by sanctioned shareholders against Fortenova Group.
Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group's CEO and Member of the Board of Directors commented, "With sanctioned equity holders no longer in the ownership structure, the company will be able to continue to operate successfully, achieve favourable results, and enhance value for all stakeholders."
Fortenova Group is a prominent player in the Southeastern European market, encompassing over 100 renowned brands spanning retail, food production, and agriculture.
In a related development, Fortenova Group's Montenegrin retail unit, Mercator-CG, has undergone a rebranding, and now operates as Idea-CG.
This name change follows the company's acquisition of Franca Marketi in September, expanding its portfolio by 67 stores and 900 employees. With over 2,500 employees and 195 stores, Idea-CG is the largest retail chain in Montenegro.