Latest News & Articles

Fortenova Group is committed to continuously preserving the environment and investing in local communities.

Press releases

All press releases relevant to the investors of Fortenova Group can be found here. We kindly ask the media to send any inquiries they might have to info@fortenovagroup.nl

Fortenova Group has gained approval for the concentration with Mercator in the Republic of Serbia

05.03.2021.

On 5 March 2021, the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia approved the intention of Fortenova Group to acquire control over the company Poslovni sistem Mercator d.d., Ljubljana also on the Serbian market.

With this decision of the Serbian Commission, Fortenova Group has fully met the regulatory prerequisites of obtaining approval for the concentration with Mercator from the competent national regulatory authorities for the protection of market competition in all required territories - Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Northern Macedonia. At the same time, with the concentration approval issued by the European Commission, this prerequisite has been met for the entire EU territory.

“With this decision another formal obstacle has been removed for the realization of Mercator’s transfer to Fortenova Group. We expect the transfer of shares from Agrokor to Fortenova Group to happen by the end of March 2021 which will enable us to start consolidate and further develop our regional retail network” – said Fabris Peruško, Chief Executive Officer of Fortenova Group, commenting on the decision of the Serbian Commission.

Fortenova Group shareholders to vote on important decisions related to Mercator transfer to Fortenova Group at forthcoming Assembly

04.03.2021.

At the Depositary Receipt Holders’ Meeting of Fortenova Group, convened for Friday, 12th March 2021, the shareholders will vote on several decisions important for the business consolidation of Fortenova Group, the largest private employer in Croatia and several countries of the region and one of the largest private companies of South and Southeast Europe. The key decisions to be made by the shareholders are related to the transfer of shares of Poslovni sistem Mercator from Agrokor to Fortenova Group and if adopted, these decisions will provide Fortenova Group with the approval to extend the existing financial arrangement with HPS Partners and VTB Bank by the amount of up to EUR 390 million, to be used as a loan from Fortenova Group to Mercator for the purpose of refinancing Mercator’s bank debt.

The shareholders will also decide on swapping the shares held in Mercator by Sberbank for shares in Fortenova Group. Should the share swap be approved, 18.53% of Mercator shares owned by Sberbank will be transferred to Fortenova Group. At the same time, with that swap Sberbank’s ownership share in Fortenova Group would increase to 44 per cent. With the adoption and realization of these decisions and upon receiving regulatory approval for the concentration of Mercator and Fortenova Group on the market of Serbia, all key prerequisites pending for the soon to be realized transfer of shares of Poslovni sistem Mercator to Fortenova Group would be met.

Besides the decisions related to Mercator, the shareholders will also decide on strengthening Fortenova Group’s Board of Directors which, provided the proposal is accepted and adopted, will comprise three new non-executive members – Roman Goltsov, Daniel Gusev and Damir Spudic, experts with extensive international experience whose qualities, knowledge and professional expertise could significantly contribute to the achievement of Fortenova Group’s business goals. At the same time, with the vote on the appointment of new BoD Members, the resignation of Mr. Miodrag Borojevic from his position as Non-Executive Member of the BoD shall become effective.

"We would like to thank Mr. Borojevic for his contribution to the work of the Board of Directors over the last two years and wish him success in his further professional career" - said Maksim Poletaev, Chairman of Fortenova Group's Board of Directors. With the adoption of the decision on the appointment of new members Mr. Borojevic shall cease to be Member of the BoD and his obligations in the governing bodies of individual Group companies shall cease therewith as well.

“The Assembly ahead of us is very important, as the shareholders will vote on decisions important for our operations in various aspects. First of all, by adopting the proposed decisions related to Mercator the last remaining elements of the Settlement Plan among Agrokor’s creditors shall be met. I am personally particularly pleased that this will formally close all obligations arising from the Settlement Plan, exactly three years after I accepted the challenge of running the Extraordinary Administration Procedure of Agrokor under complex circumstances. With the adoption and delivery of the Assembly’s decisions the ownership within the Group will be consolidated, the new financing will consolidate the credit position as well and therewith we will meet all prerequisites for the consolidation of our retail operations across the region and the strengthening of our position in that industry. Provided that the shareholders adopt the proposed decisions next Friday, I believe that the transfer of Mercator shares will be closed by the end of the month”, said Fabris Peruško, Member of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Fortenova Group.

Fortenova Group concluded the sale of Kompas Group to Springwater Capital

01.03.2021.

Fortenova Group has formally completed the sale of Kompas Group to Springwater Capital after fulfilling all regulatory and administrative conditions.

The Kompas Group is the leading travel company in the region with presence in fifteen countries. Kompas is also one of the oldest and largest tour operators in the Adriatic region. Headquartered in Slovenia and Croatia and founded in 1951, Kompas is the leading tour operator in the region, integrated with a network of DMCs in the main European cities focused on escorted tours and Adriatic cruises wholesaling. The company is also involved in retail and online travel agency (OTA), Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE) and Business Travel Centre (BTC) segments.

Fortenova Group moves forward with the Frozen Food Business Group divestment in exclusive negotiations with Nomad Foods

11.01.2021.

After completing due diligence process for the sale of the companies Ledo plus d.o.o., Ledo d.o.o. Citluk and Frikom d.o.o., forming together with several smaller affiliated companies the Frozen Food Business Group, Fortenova Group d.d. (www.fortenova.hr) have decided to move forward to the next phase by entering into exclusive negotiations with Nomad Foods (www.nomadfoods.com). 

“Nomad Foods is a company with outstanding investment and operational track record that has a clear focus on frozen foods segment in Europe. There is of course still a lot of work to do and a number of conditions that need to be fulfilled before coming to a final agreement, but we fully expect to be able to do this”, said James Pearson, Fortenova Group’s Chief Financial Officer

“Multi-party due diligence process for the Frozen Food Business Group has been brought to a successful completion by our acceptance to continue negotiations exclusively with Nomad Foods, who have so far proved to be an extremely strong potential partner for our Frozen Food Business Group. Fortenova Group’s ultimate goal, over and above maximizing value, remains to be the conclusion of a transaction with a strategic partner who will make the maximum contribution to the further development of the Frozen Food Business Group and recognize the full value and potential of this business and its people”, said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. “This transaction is part of the process of the capital structure optimization that will enable the further development of the Fortenova Group. I expect the next phase of the Frozen Food Business Group sale process to be completed by the end of Q1 this year through the signing of a Sale and Purchase Agreement. If so, the transaction could be completed post receipt of regulatory approvals, as early as Summer 2021. We will continue to keep our people and the market informed of further developments in a timely manner”, concluded Peruško.

Fortenova grupa d.d. agrees acquisition of stake in the company A.N.P. Energija d.o.o. and sells stake in KHA četiri

30.11.2020.

Fortenova grupa d.d. entered into a definitive agreement with KHA cetiri d.o.o., a Croatia-based hotel development company, to sell its 25% stake in KHA cetiri to that company. In a separate transaction, Fortenova grupa d.d. agreed to acquire a 26% stake in A.N.P. Energija, held by the open venture capital investment fund with private placement – Prosperus FGS, thus gaining a controlling stake in the firm A.N.P. Energija.

A.N.P. Energija d.o.o. is the sole owner of Energija Gradec d.o.o., a company which operates five bio-fuel power plants in Slavonia and Central Croatia with installed capacity of 9.8MW, using biomass supplied by Fortenova Group’s agricultural companies to produce electricity from biogas.

These two transactions will allow Fortenova Group to exit this non-core hotel project and unlock significant value for Fortenova Group’s Agriculture segment by consolidating the Energija Gradec biogas power generation business.

“This provides another step forward in Fortenova Group’s strategy of divesting non core businesses and focusing on its core retail, food and agri divisions. With the consolidated holding in these bio fuel plants, Fortenova is not only investing in direct financial improvements but is also continuing to develop a more environmentally sustainable agri business model for the future.” – said James Pearson, Chief Financial Officer of Fortenova Group.

Springwater Capital to acquire Fortenova Group's Kompas network

11.11.2020.

Fortenova Group and Springwater Capital (“SWC”) signed an agreement on the sale and purchase of Kompas d.d. Ljubljana and Kompas d.o.o. Porec.

The Kompas network is one of the oldest and largest tour operators organising individual and group travel in the Adria region, and the region’s largest destination management company. In 2019, more than a million travellers used the wide range of the Kompas network’s tourist services, having realized over six million overnight stays.

SWC has a deep investment expertise in the tourism sector with investments in Spain, Portugal and Belgium: this includes Spain’s fourth largest company in the travel sector, as well as the largest travel agency network in Portugal.

“With this transaction Fortenova Group will largely complete the process of exiting its tourist investments that accounted for a significant part of our non-core business, which we have been successfully disposing of throughout the course of this year. We are very pleased to have found an excellent strategic partner for the Kompas network’s portfolio and employees, that has a very strong expertise and knowledge of tourist operations, and who will be looking to further invest and grow the business. As such I believe this transaction will have significant positive benefits to the existing business and employees who, on behalf of the Fortenova Board and Executive Directors, I would like to thank for all their hardwork and dedication in what has been an extremely challenging year in the tourism sector.

For Fortenova, as already communicated, exiting non-core investments enables us to focus on strengthening all the parameters of our core businesses – retail, food and agriculture, and streamline our organisational and management structures” – said James Pearson, Fortenova Group’s Chief Financial Officer.

The transaction will be formally closed following the approval of the concentration of SWC and Kompas by the Slovenian Market Competition Agency.

Fortenova Group to move forward with the Frozen Food Business Group divestment

02.11.2020.

After receiving a number of non-binding offers for the acquisition of the companies Ledo plus, Ledo Citluk and Frikom, forming together with several smaller affiliated companies the Frozen Food Business Group, Fortenova Group have decided to move forward to the next phase of the sales process by inviting a select number of bidders to start due diligence.

“The market test has confirmed that there is strong international interest among potential investors in our Frozen Food business. The qualified non-binding offers come from companies with outstanding investment and operational track record. We are glad that we will be entering due diligence process with some extremely strong potential partners”, said James Pearson, Fortenova Group’s Chief Financial Officer

“Our ultimate goal, over and above maximising value, remains to be selection of a strategic partner who will make the maximum contribution to the further development of the Frozen Food Business Group. Even though we are entering the due diligence phase now, completion of the process still depends on finding the partner who will recognize the full value and potential of this business and its people”, said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors. “In order to proactively achieve our targeted capital structure via deleveraging the company, Fortenova Group is ready to dispose of only one segment of the core business, which potentially would be the Frozen Food Business Group. I expect the due diligence process to be completed by the end of this year and we will continue to keep our people and the market informed of further developments in a timely manner”, concluded Peruško.”

Fortenova Group and Meggle reach agreement on the purchase of Osijek dairy’s property and production line

28.10.2020.

Belje plus, part of the Fortenova Group, and MEGGLE Croatia reached and signed an agreement on the purchase of the assets of the MEGGLE dairy in Osijek. By purchasing MEGGLE’s property and production line – with the intention to commence own production as of 1st January 2021 -  Belje will preserve the long-standing tradition of milk production in that part of Slavonia.

With the start of the production in Osijek Belje will purchase a certain quantity of milk from MEGGLE’s present contractors, while the need for employees is still under review, with around 100 people expected to be employed.

Fortenova Group already accounts for around 10 per cent of the total milk quantity produced in Croatia, which is around 5 per cent of the local needs. Most of the milk produced at Belje is used for the production of ABC cheese, with its annual production currently at the level of 3,700 tonnes, while plans have been developed for the significant expansion of its portfolio.

“We are happy with the agreement reached and with having closed the sale of MEGGLE’s assets in Osijek, as well as with Belje’s decision to produce on that location following our withdrawal. After having made the final decision on closing down our production in Croatia, the MEGGLE Group has exerted maximum efforts to find a buyer for the assets in order for as many of our employees as possible to have new employment after 31st December and for our contractors not to have any standstill in the purchase of milk. Until the end of the year MEGGLE shall continue to restructure its operations, in accordance with the agreement reached with the trade unions, while meeting all the assumed obligations in time and in full”, said Marjan Vucak, President of the Management Board of MEGGLE Croatia.

“The MEGGLE Group is aware of how important it is to preserve the milk production in Osijek, which is why we had delayed our decision for as long as this was possible and we are glad that with the new owner it will be continued after all. Over all these years Meggle has been a socially sensitive and responsible employer and a reliable business partner. Having reached this agreement with Fortenova Group confirms that we have continued to behave that way in this restructuring process, too, and we shall keep operating according to the same principles going forward”, said Matthias Oettel, CEO of the MEGGLE Group.

“Fortenova Group has continuously worked on further improving the value and strengthening the portfolio of its brands. In order to utilise all potentials of ABC fresh cream cheese, which is one of the strongest regional brands and one of our strongest export products, Belje needs additional production capacities and MEGGLE’s withdrawal enabled us to secure them within short time. With the Osijek plant we have secured the prerequisites for the development of new products, made of local raw material, of premium quality and higher added value. With this move we shall continue to work on the preservation and further growth of the local agricultural production, which along with saving existing and opening new jobs is of great significance for Slavonia and the broader community. Fortenova Group views its operations in the long term and we are currently preparing the company for operations in the period following the crisis in order to have as strong as possible a lever for growth once the recovery starts, with this transaction to be entirely financed from our operations” – said Fabris Peruško, Chief Executive Officer of Fortenova Group.

“The acquisition of Meggle’s assets and the development of new products can be an additional encouragement to increase the quantities of milk produced and for small producers to invest in dairy cow farms in Croatia. This would certainly have a positive effect on the change of trends, after this year the long-lasting decline in milk quantities produced in Croatia has finally been stopped. The dairy industry is one of the major focus areas of the 2020-2025 strategy in Fortenova Group’s Agriculture Division, and the Belje food industry will be the platform on which the development in that segment will gain momentum” – says Andrej Dean, President of the Management Board of Belje.

The transaction will be carried out once all the required regulatory approvals are in place.

Fortenova Group has received a number of non-binding offers for the Frozen Food Business Group

22.09.2020.

Fortenova Group has received a number of non-binding offers for the acquisition of the companies Ledo plus, Ledo Citluk and Frikom, forming together with several smaller affiliated companies the Frozen Food Business Group, which operates within Fortenova Group’s Food Division.

“Over the last few years, and again in recent weeks, there has been occasional comment and discussion in regards to offers being made for various Fortenova Group’s assets. Whilst this interest reflects the strength of our business, brands and management it obviously creates uncertainty and concern for our employees. We will therefore aim to quickly review the offers received and decide whether to move forward with one or more of them. Our aim is for this decision to be taken by mid-October, which will then be communicated first to our employees and then announced to the public. Our ultimate goal, subject to achieving a satisfactory price, is to select a strategic partner who will make the maximum contribution to the further development of the Frozen Food Business Group and completion of the process depends on finding such partner”, said Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors.

 “With our clear strategy to financially strengthen the company in mind, a sale of the Frozen Food Business Group, if concluded, would result in a reduction of debt that would transform the financial position of the overall Fortenova Group. This would then allow full investment in the remaining businesses to drive their future growth. The Executive Directors and the Board will review the offers received and will quickly take a decision on how to move forward”, said James Pearson, Fortenova Group’s Chief Financial Officer.

“To proactively achieve our targeted capital structure via deleveraging the company, we are ready to dispose of only one segment of the core business which potentially with these offers would be the Frozen Food Business Group. Beyond this, the divestment of our non-core operations in order to focus on the core business will be continued”, concluded Fabris Peruško, Fortenova Group’s Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors.

European Commission clears concentration of Fortenova Group and Poslovni sistemi Mercator

22.09.2020.

The European Commission has cleared the intention of concentration whereby Fortenova Group acquires control over Poslovni sistemi Mercator, Ljubljana.

For the territories of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and North Macedonia the concentration was filed with the competent local market competition regulators and all national authorities except for the Competition Commission of the Republic of Serbia have now approved the concentration.  

“We are pleased with the decision of the European Commission to approve the transfer of Mercator from Agrokor to Fortenova Group has been given. We expect that the approval from the Serbian Commission will follow shortly. This has paved the way for the transfer of Mercator to be realized by the end of this year and for Fortenova Group’s retail as of 2021 to start acting on the market as a common, regional group, whose operations are in the interest of all stakeholders – from employees through suppliers and shareholders to the entire economic environment, both in the national states and regionwide” – said Fabris Peruško, Chief Executive Officer of Fortenova Group commenting on the EC decision.

“A strong owner will enable Mercator's further growth and development, and support Mercator's strategic projects, including the 130-million-euro investment into a new logistics centre in Ljubljana,” added Tomislav Cizmic, President of the Management Board of Mercator.

Changes in the Board of Directors of Fortenova Group

14.07.2020.

Fortenova Group’s DR Holders have today at the General Assembly meeting voted in favor of changes in the Group’s Board of Directors by adopting the resolution to approve the acceptance of resignations of two of its members – Mr. Alexander Torbakhov and Mr. Paul Foley.

Mr. Torbakhov’s resignation has been prompted by the fact that he has been appointed the CEO of a major Russian telecommunications company VimpelCom.

Mr. Foley has decided to focus cooperation with Fortenova Group fully on its retail operations through the roles of a member of Supervisory Boards of Mercator in Slovenia and Konzum plus in Croatia, that he already holds. Mr. Foley is also expected to become the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Konzum, thus putting to best use his lifelong experience in the retail industry.

Changes in the Board of Directors of Fortenova Group d.d.

19.09.2019.

A meeting of holders of Depositary Receipts issued by Fortenova Group STAK Stichting, a foundation with registered seat in the Netherlands, has been convened today to be held on 30 September 2019. Depositary Receipt Holders represent the ultimate owners of Croatia-based Fortenova grupa d.d. and at the forthcoming DR Holder Meeting they will decide on the appointment of two new members to the Board of Directors of Fortenova grupa d.d. Following the recent resignation of two non-executive members of the Board of Directors, Kelly Griffith and Daniel Michael Böhi, it is proposed that at the DR Holder Meeting the shareholders would decide on the appointment of Paul Bastone and Alexander Torbakhov to the Board of Directors of Fortenova grupa d.d. for a three-year term of office. DR Holders will be able to either vote electronically as of today at 5 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday, 27 September 2019 or at the DR Holder Meeting itself on Monday, 30 September 2019.

Furthermore, the Workers' Council of Fortenova grupa d.d. today advised the company's Board of Directors of the appointment of Ivica Mudrinic to the Board of Directors as workers' representative. While this appoinment pursuant to the decision of the Workers' Council is effective immediately, the other two appointments mentioned above have to be adopted by the majority of votes of the Depositary Receipt Holders.

Fortenova Group Successfully Closes New Financing

06.09.2019.

On Friday, 6 September 2019 Fortenova Group issued a EUR1.157 billion bond, thereby successfully concluding the process of refinancing the Super-Priority Facility Agreement (SPFA) dated 8 June 2017. The new financing is structured as a 4-year bond in the amount of EUR 1.157 billion, with a 7.3% interest rate plus EURIBOR, with 1% floor and is led by HPS Investment Partners in cooperation with VTB Bank.

The refinancing agreement envisages the interest rate to be successively reduced as the Fortenova Group will be reducing its leverage ratio.

„By closing the new financing arrangement Fortenova Group has fully refinanced the SPFA loan and provided for its mid-term stability and long-term viability, growth and development. We would like to thank all shareholders who have recognized and supported the process that is in the interest of all stakeholders. Fortenova Group is now entering a new stage of operations focusing on profitability increase, efficiency improvements and value creation for all stakeholders“, said Fabris Peruško, CEO of Fortenova grupa d.d.

Over 80% DR Holders voted in favor of the new senior financing led by HPS Investment Partners

26.07.2019.

Holders of Depositary Receipts, issued by Fortenova Group STAK Stichting, voted today at the General Assembly held in Amsterdam with over 80% majority in favor of the new financing arrangement of Fortenova Group, with the purpose to refinance its current Super-Priority Facility Agreement dated June 8th, 2017. The new financing is structured as a 4-year bond in the amount of up to 1.2 billion euro, with a 7.3% interest rate plus EURIBOR with a 1% floor, and it will be led by HPS Investment Partners. The closing of the refinancing process will be finalized by the end of August.

“The General Assembly vote proved that the majority of our shareholders recognized the importance of this new financing for Fortenova Group in terms of securing our mid-term financial stability as well as long-term sustainability, growth and development. I am thankful to our shareholders for supporting the decision of the Fortenova Group's management. I would also like to thank all our stakeholders that were involved in achieving this critical milestone in the refinancing process. Fortenova Group is now focused on closing the transaction after which we will enter a new stage of our business operations that will be focused on increasing profitability, improving performance and creating additional value to all stakeholders.” said Fabris Peruško, CEO of Fortenova Group d.d.

Notice to Noteholders re New Instruments

08.04.2019.

To the attention of noteholders in respect of the (a) EUR 325 million 9.125% New York law governed senior notes due to mature in 2020 (ISINs: XS0836495183 / XS0836495696) (the "EUR2020"), (b) USD 300 million 8.875% New York law governed senior notes due to mature in 2020 (ISINs: USX0027KAG32 / US00855UAB52, CUSIPs: X0027KAG3 / 00855UAB5) (the "USD2020") and (c) EUR 300 million 9.875% New York law governed senior notes due to mature in 2019 (ISINs: XS0776111188 / XS0776110966) (the "EUR2019") issued by Agrokor d.d. (the "Notes" and the holders thereof being "Noteholders").

Under the Settlement Plan , BNY Mellon was entitled to receive the New Instruments issued for the Notes and to appoint Noteholders as its designees to receive their respective portion of New Instruments on its behalf (see Cl. 18.3.1 of the Settlement Plan). BNY Mellon designated (a) in relation to 1,904,277 Strips allocated to BNY Mellon in respect of the EUR2020 and USD2020 Notes, and in relation to 1,126,698 Strips allocated to BNY Mellon in respect to the EUR2019 Notes, certain entities to receive such distributions on account of its Assigned Claim and (b) in relation to the remainder, each Noteholder to receive such distributions, pro rata based on each Noteholder’s holding of Notes (“Designation”). For further details, please refer to the notice from BNY Mellon on 2 April 2019 (Trustees Notice).

Initial meeting of holders of depositary receipts of Fortenova Group was held

02.04.2019.

The meeting of holders of depositary receipts of Fortenova Group STAK Stichting , a foundation (stichting), incorporated under the laws of the Netherlands, with its corporate seat in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was held on 1 April 2019 in Amsterdam.

The holders of 168,300,328 depositary receipts were present or represented at Initial DR Holder Meeting, representing 63.76% of the aggregate number of issued and outstanding Depositary Receipts with voting rights. The agenda of the meeting consisted of the appointment of the members of the board of directors of Fortenova grupa d.d., the remuneration of members of the board of directors of Fortenova, appointment and remuneration of the managing directors of Aisle Dutch HoldCo B.V. and the Company and granting of the title of managing directors and acquisition by the Company from Agram Invest d.d. of certain shares in Agrolaguna d.d. and Ċ½itnjak d.d.

All proposals were accepted with high majority of present votes of the Initial DR Holder Meeting.