Ljubljana, 29 November (STA) - The Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (AVK) green-lighted on Friday the takeover of retailer Mercator by Croatian Agrokor. The watchdog approved the market concentration which the acquisition of a 53% stake in Mercator would cause, agency boss Andrej Krašek told the press.
AVK's approval is not the only relevant aproval, as the Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian competition watchdogs also have to okay the deal.
While the Serbian watchdog is expected to announce its decision on Tuesday, according to Serbian media, the Croatian agency might take a while longer because additional proceedings had been launched to investigate the potential market concentration.
Media reports suggest that the Serbian Competition Protection Commission has so far found that the takeover would have unlawful consequences in some parts of the country, where the combined market share of Mercator and Agrokor's subsidiary Idea would be very high.
Agrokor signed a sales agreement for Mercator with a consortium of owners in June at EUR 120 per share. This was more than EUR 100 per share less than the previous time Agrokor bid to buy the retailer. This is the already ninth attempt to sell Mercator.