Investors in Mercator have been looking to offload shares in the retailer on and off since 2008

Investors in Mercator have been looking to offload shares in the retailer on and off since 2008

The owners of Slovenian food retailer Mercator, including shareholder Pivovarna Lasko, have re-started an attempt to sell their joint 53.2% stake in the company.

Investors in Mercator have been looking to offload shares in the retailer on and off since 2008 but a sale has yet be sealed.

In a statement today (21 December), Lasko said a group of shareholders had signed an agreement on the sale of the shares.

In March last year, Croatian retailer Agrokor indicated it would be interested in buying over 23% of Mercator owned by Slovenian brewer Pivovarna Lasko. Months later, Lasko teamed up with other Mercator shareholders to jointly sell a 50.03% stake.

That October, Agrokor reportedly placed a bid for the shares but, a month later, the management of Mercator pulled its support for talks to sell the company to Agrokor after a dispute over whether the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Finance Corp. Management also reportedly prevented Agrokor from performing due diligence, given the firm was its biggest competitor in the region.

Talks were then frozen last December after the CEO of Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB), one of the 12 parties looking to sell their combined stake, resigned, giving no reason for his departure. Two months later, Agrokor dropped its bid, saying it had failed to agree on the terms of a deal.