Hungarian gov’t-friendly firm buys Sberbank share in Croatia’s FortenovaReading Time: 2 minutes
Russia’s Sberbank has sold its 43% stake in Fortenova to Hungarian-US investment fund Indotek Group, Croatian daily Jutarnji List reported.
The deal came as the EU and US unveiled new economic sanctions on Russian banks in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Fortenova is Croatia’s largest company and south-east Europe’s largest food trader and producer, employing over 50,000 staff in regional eight markets. Its portfolio includes the Croatian retail chain Konzum. The purchase price was not announced.
The Zagreb-based company, formerly known as Agrokor, emerged from a state-led restructuring in 2018, in which its former creditors became its owners. Fortenova booked a profit in its nine-month results in 2021, Bloomsberg noted.
Jellinek has done a series of deals with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s son-in-law, Istvan Tiborcz, most recently in March when he sold a controlling stake in Tiborcz’s main investment vehicle, Bloomsberg reported.
Indotek Group employs 380 people and manages assets of more than EUR 3bn. It is headquartered in Hungary’s capital Budapest and has 12 branches across the country, as well as offices in Spain, Italy, Romania, Poland, Greece and Croatia. The Indotek Group already has a significant minority stake in the French retail chain Auchan.
A spokesperson for Jellinek said the Hungarian entrepreneur sees Indotek as a strategic partner of Fortenova and the deal as a long-term investment. The CEO and majority owner of Indotek is Hungary’s tenth richest person and has close ties to the government, Hungarian website 444 wrote.
Although the deal will make Indotek the largest single shareholder in Fortenova, the US-Hungarian firm will require the consent of its two remaining major shareholders Pavle Vujnovac, owner of Enna Group, and Russia’s state-owned VTB Bank, which is currently under sanctions, Jutarnji List added.
The conclusion of the acquisition is subject to regulatory authorities in several markets. “We expect that all the approvals required to complete the purchase and sale of shares will be obtained in the next few months,” Fortenova CEO Fabris Perusko said.