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EBRD reduces stake in Croatia’s Atlantic Grupa

By Axel  Reiserer

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EBRD reduces stake in Croatia’s Atlantic Grupa

Partial exit signals confidence in the company and support for its strategy

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has reduced its equity stake in Atlantic Grupa d.d., one of the leading producers of food and beverages and distributors of fast-moving consumer goods in south-eastern Europe.

The EBRD sold 132,615 shares representing 3.98 per cent of Atlantic Grupa’s share capital last Friday through a private placement on the over-the-counter market in Zagreb, led by the investment company InterCapital Securities Ltd.

Following the private placement, the EBRD has continued its partnership with Atlantic Grupa by retaining a 2 per cent shareholding in the company.

Miljan Zdrale, EBRD Head of Agribusiness for Central and South-Eastern Europe, said: “We are exceptionally pleased with our longstanding cooperation with Atlantic Grupa and the company’s development and achievements over the years. Thanks to its strong business model, prudent strategy and highly experienced management team, Atlantic Grupa has won a strong reputation as a successful market participant with the ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions. By remaining a shareholder in the company, the EBRD will continue to support Atlantic Grupa’s further development and expansion plans, with special emphasis on cross-border and international activities. By reducing our investment we help to increase the liquidity of the company’s stock and therefore support the firm’s growth strategy, as well as the development of local capital markets.”

Emil Tedeschi, President and CEO of Atlantic Grupa, added: “The EBRD recognised the value and potential of Atlantic Grupa at an early stage in the company’s development and continues to support us in our ambition to improve and grow. We are happy to have the EBRD continue as our shareholder and investor, a partner focused on sustainability in all aspects of the business, including the wider development of the Croatian capital market, as confirmed by the latest transaction.”

Atlantic Grupa and the EBRD have enjoyed a longstanding and successful cooperation. In July 2010, the EBRD became a shareholder in Atlantic Grupa to support the company’s landmark acquisition of the leading Slovenian food processing company Droga Kolinska. Today the latter is fully integrated into Atlantic Grupa. The EBRD has also supported Atlantic Grupa’s development over the years through the provision of debt financing in late 2012 and recently in May 2016.

Since the beginning of its operations in Croatia in 1993 the EBRD has invested €3.5 billion in more than 186 projects in the country. In addition to its wide product range across many sectors, including financial institutions, in recent years the EBRD has built a growing portfolio of investments (both equity and debt) in the Croatian commerce and agribusiness sector, for which demand remains high.

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