Austrian food group Agrana aims to acquire a 51% stake in Serbia’s biggest sugar producer Sunoko, Stephan Buettner, chief financial officer of Agrana, has said.
Agrana will probably not acquire the entire capital of Sunoko initially, but rather a 51% share due to competition reasons, Austrian news agency APA quoted Buettner as saying in a report posted on the website of the Vienna Stock Exchange on Thursday.
Sunoko holds a 70% market share in Serbia and its potential acquisition is currently being analysed by the European Commission, Buettner said.
In July, the Austrian company placed a bid for the acquisition of two sugar factories of Greece’s Hellenic Sugar in Serbia, with a combined market share of 30%, but the sale was called off.
Serbia’s competition regulator said in March it approved the acquisition of a majority stake in Sunoko by Agrana. The transaction will cause no significant structural changes in Serbian sugar beet production, purchasing, processing and wholesale markets, the country’s anti-trust regulator said back then.
Sunoko has three plants – in Kovacica, Vrbas and Pecinci, all located in Serbia’s northern province of Vojvodina. It is the largest sugar beet purchaser and sugar producer in Southeastern Europe (SEE) with an annual output of about 300,000 tonnes of sugar.