Slovenian bank Nova Ljubljanska Bank (NLB) has entered negotiations to sell its 10.75% stake in retailer Mercator to equity fund Mid Europa Partners.

The bank announced yesterday (21 September) that Mid Europa Partners won a tender that NLB managed with advisory firm Arkas at the beginning of this year.

The exclusivity contract does not bind NLB to sell its stake, it added.

Eight local banks planned to sell their share in the company earlier this year, but a number of banks quit the sale process, saying bids were too low.

The supermarket group booked an increase in first-half profits at the end of August, despite "highly challenging" economic conditions.