Business News

Mercator Supports Sale of Minority Stake to Private Equity Firm

Ljubljana, 12 October (STA) - The board of Slovenian retailer Mercator has endorsed the planned sale of a 10.75% stake owned by the bank Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB) to Hungarian private equity firm Mid Europa Partners, saying it would be in the company's interest as it would stabilise the shareholder structure.

NLB asked the Mercator management to evaluate whether the transaction with the prospective buyer was good for the company.

It decided, "after a deliberation", to cooperate with Mid Europa Partners' evaluation of the deal, but to "immediately terminate any cooperation" if it establishes that selling is not in the company's best interest, the company said Tuesday.

NLB launched exclusive non-binding negotiations with Mid Europa Partners on the sale of the stake it seized last year from the insolvent Infond financial firm and Istrabenz conglomerate.

Mid Europa Partners participated in the call for bids for the stake published at the beginning of the year. Back then, NLB pulled out of the sale as it was unhappy with the bids.

The Budapest-based group manages around EUR 3.2bn in assets. It owns several companies in the region, including Slovenian cable operator Telemach.

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