Croatian retailer Agrokor has confirmed its interest in local peer Mercator, indicating that it has submitted a bid for a 23.34% stake in the Slovenian supermarket operator.

Agrokor, which operates rival grocer Konzum, said it has made an offer to beverage group Pivovarna Lasko, who put its stake in Mercator on the block last autumn.

A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the details of the offer, insisting that a decision pursuant to the public tender is expected next month.

“We are unable to comment further as it is undergoing a competitive bidding process,” the spokesperson said.

However, the spokesperson did confirm Agrokor’s ambition to expand in the region: “We want to grow our base in the region and this can be achieved in a number of ways… [including] consolidation in the sector. Of course, growth is an important goal for us moving forward.”

Media reports have linked a number of other potential bidders to the sale, including private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Mid Europa Partners.