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Retail

Mercator Takes Over Slovenian Retailer Engrotuš

By Branislav Pekic
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Mercator Takes Over Slovenian Retailer Engrotuš

Slovenian retail market leader Mercator has signed a contract to acquire 100% of the shares in Engrotuš, which manages around 260 Tuš stores across the country.

The value of the transaction has not been disclosed, although according to local reports it is worth around €30 million.

The deal is expected to close after approval from the Market Competition Agency of the Republic of Slovenia (AVK).

Engrotuš is 80% owned by the Alfa fund, while founder Mirko Tuš owns the remaining 20%. The company operates in the retail and wholesale segment.

The deal does not include the 43 Tuš drugstores, which are in the process of being spun off.

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Engrotuš recorded a loss of €6.3 million in 2022 on revenue of €480 million (+5% on 2021).

Tomislav Kramarić, president of the management board of Mercator said, "This transaction marks the continued ownership consolidation in the retail sector.

"Mercator has recorded stable organic growth, and the acquisition of and merger with Engrotuš will help us realise our business goals."

New Retail Powerhouse

According to Fortenova Group, the merger between the two companies will create a new retail powerhouse in Slovenia and provide new development opportunities for Slovenian suppliers and employees.

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With this acquisition, Fortenova also prevented the entry of a new competitor in the Slovenian retail market.

German retail chain REWE was also in the running for Engrotuš but reportedly offered a lower price than Mercator.

However, Fortenova could have difficulties in obtaining necessary permits from the Slovenian antitrust, since Mercator would have a 40% market share, which is the upper limit of the permitted control of one company.

The acquisition of Engrotuš is the second acquisition by Mercator this year, following the takeover of Montenegrin retailer Franca Marketi that owns around 67 supermarkets in Montenegro.

Since 2021, Mercator has been owned by Croatia-based Fortenova Group, a leading player in the grocery retail market in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia.

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