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Sberbank rules out breaking deal to sell stake in Croatian retailer Fortenova — CEO

Fortenova Group is Croatia’s top food manufacturer and retailer headquartered in Zagreb

MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. CEO of Sberbank Herman Gref has ruled out breaking the deal to sell Sberbank's stake in the Croatian retailer Fortenova, he told reporters on the sidelines of the Finopolis forum.

"There is no risk of the transaction being disrupted, because it has been completed and does not require any return. The transaction was made absolutely correctly, all procedures were carried out in accordance with all Russian and international legal norms. We believe that we have given the Croatian authorities every opportunity to complete the transaction," Gref said.

Last week, Sber announced the sale of its 43% stake in the Fortenova Group to Saif Alketbi, a major investor from the UAE whose assets include real estate, technology, high-tech and holds significant investments through various private equity deals.

Fortenova Group is Croatia’s top food manufacturer and retailer headquartered in Zagreb.

In 2019, Sberbank Group gained control of 40% of Fortenova Group Topco’s assets, a subsidiary of Fortenova Group, which manages entities in Croatia’s largest private company on food production and retail trade Agrokor.

Last spring Sberbank increased its share in the Croatian Fortenova operating in agriculture, food, and retail sectors to 43%, acquiring 4% in the company for an 18.5% stake in Mercator, Slovenia’s largest retailer.

In April 2017 the government of Croatia placed Fortenova Group under state control due to debts and began restructuring proceedings. Sberbank attempted to recover 1.13 bln euro of debt from it.