€10 million EBRD equity investment in Montenegrin retail chain

By Viktorija Melohina

€10 million EBRD equity investment in Montenegrin retail chain

Voli becomes first equity transaction in the country’s agribusiness sector

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is to become a minority shareholder in Voli d.o.o, a leading Montenegrin retailer.

The EBRD is investing €10 million for a convertible redeemable preferred equity stake. The transaction is the EBRD’s second corporate equity investment in Montenegro and the first in the country’s agribusiness sector.

The fresh capital will be used to strengthen the company with the construction of a new distribution centre in Podgorica and the expansion of the company’s retail network with the opening of two new stores in Montenegro.

The investments are expected to result in operational and financial efficiency gains, enhanced corporate governance standards, resource efficiency and strong linkages to local suppliers and wholesale customers.

Dragan Bokan, founder and CEO of Voli, said: “We are pleased to mark the 20th anniversary of Voli by deepening our partnership with the EBRD, which is the first of its kind in Montenegro. Together we will be working on delivering our goals. Our success will also be the success of Montenegro’s agribusiness sector as we will provide the platform for high-quality local produce. The partnership with the EBRD is an invaluable element in our Voli’s further growth and development.”

Miljan Zdrale, EBRD Regional Head of Agribusiness for south-eastern Europe, added: “We are delighted to strengthen our relationship with Voli which started in 2009. Since then we have seen Voli grow and mature and we welcome Voli’s plans for the expansion of its supply chain and retail network which will also have an impact on the local and regional supply chain. We look forward to participating in the company’s corporate governance and future development as a stakeholder alongside Mr Bokan.”

Voli was founded in 1995 and is the leading retailer in Montenegro, with 57 food retail stores across the country.

To date, the EBRD has invested more than €500 million in Montenegro in all sectors of the economy, mobilising a total investment value of more than €900 million.