Slovenia's Mercator Names Advisers For Debt Restructuring

Slovenia's largest retailer Mercator has appointed advisers to help with a 1 billion euro debt restructuring, according to finance industry and banking sources close to the negotiations, Reuters reported. The restructuring is a condition of a proposed sale of a 53.12 percent stake in Mercator to Croatian food and retail group Agrokor. In June, Agrokor said it would pay pay 120 euros per share for the food retail group, valuing the company - Slovenia's largest employer - at about 452 million euros. Slovenia is trying sell state assets to boost its finances to try to avoid an international bailout. Mercator is not a part of the privatisation programme as it is held by private firms but the state does have stakes in some of them. Agrokor has made several attempts over the last three years to acquire its Slovenian rival. A sale last year collapsed because Mercator's management at that time refused to allow it to carry out due diligence. It is not clear whether Agrokor will participate in the restructuring talks. "It would make sense if Agrokor expressed an opinion over what form the restructuring should take," said one source close to the talks. "One of the restructuring plans being considered does involve Agrokor." Read more.