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June 17, 2011

SERBIA: Mercator in talks to buy two Serbian retailers

Mercator, the largest retailer in the Balkans, is in talks to buy two companies in Serbia.

By Dean Best

Mercator, the largest retailer in the Balkans, is in talks to buy two companies in Serbia.

The Slovenia-based company, which, at the end of March, had 137 stores in Serbia, said the potential deals could take its share of the country’s retail market to 10%.

“Negotiations on the takeover of two trading chains in Serbia are in progress, which will additionally strengthen the position of Mercator as the second-largest trading chain on the market with a market share of around 10%, which is Mercator’s goal in Serbia,” said Stanka Curovic, the senior vice president of Mercator’s operations in south-eastern Europe.

Based on data from the end of March, Mercator had 1,499 stores across seven markets in south-eastern Europe. Serbia is its third-largest market by store count, behind Slovenia and Croatia.

The retailer could soon see a change in its ownership structure, with shareholders representing 50.03% of the business yesterday (16 June) unveiling a deal to sell their combined stake.

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