The company Mercator, which expects to receive a takeover offer from Croatian Agrokor any moment, has hit back and now wants to buy Agrokor stores. Slovenia’s largest food retailer has told Agrokor, which is owned by Ivica Todoric, that it is interested in buying its retail business.
Mercator offers Agrokor to consider the possibility that Mercator buys its retail stores and, thus, “deepens the partnership cooperation” in the field of procurement of food products of Agrokor Group.
Mercator’s statement also reads that the company has noticed that the media have been mentioning certain positions and intentions of Agrokor to merge the retail sectors of Agrokor Group and Mercator Group and that they have been giving their own opinions about such merger. The statement further reads that Mercator is surprised that it has not been previously informed by the media on the public presentation of their opinions, in the spirit of business correctness. Mercator also stresses that Agrokor has been it’s important business partner for a long time.
Commenting on Agrokor’s commitment to carry out a strategic restructuring, Mercator writes it understands that because it is familiar with the state of the business environment, financial markets and competition that Agrokor operates in.
On this occasion, Mercator also informs Agrokor that there aren’t many trade companies in Europe that would be vertically integrated with their own production to a large extent, as well as that that type of merger can reduce the company’s competitiveness and the ability to develop in the long run.
Mercator also claims that it would not dismiss the workers taken over from Todoric, which is actually a critique of an unofficial announcement that Agrokor would cut the number of employees after the acquisition of Mercator.
Mercator’s unexpected reaction is most probably a marketing trick because Agrokor is not selling its stores, while banks that hold Mercator’s shares as a guarantee are desperate to find a buyer for them in order to get back their investments in the acquisition of Mercator.