October 2, 2019 / 10:47 AM / 18 days ago

Croatian food group Fortenova starts sale of non-core businesses

ZAGREB, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Croatian food group Fortenova Grupa, formerly known as Agrokor, said on Wednesday it had put four units, including two tourism agencies, up for sale as it starts to divest non-core assets.

The other companies are a construction firm and a soybean storage and processing company.

“We offer for sale two major tourist agencies in southeastern Europe, Atlas and Kompas. They control 20% of the markets in Croatia and Slovenia and more than 15% in Montenegro. Combined they serve some 1.2 million travellers a year,” Fortenova said in a statement.

Their combined income last year amounted to 219 million euros ($239 million), it added.

Fortenova is also seeking buyers for construction firm Projektgradnja, based in the eastern city of Slavonski Brod, and soybean company Sojara, located in the Adriatic city of Zadar.

“At this stage we have engaged special advisers for preparing and leading the sale of those companies,” Fortenova said.

Agrokor, the biggest privately owned Balkan firm by sales, was put into state administration in April 2017 and rescued after a settlement deal between creditors a year ago. The new owners changed the company’s name to Fortenova last April.

Agrokor’s expansion drive fuelled by high and expensive debt took it to the brink of bankruptcy.

After the settlement deal, Russian banks Sberbank and VTB became Agrokor’s biggest shareholders, jointly owning around 46%. ($1 = 0.9161 euros) (Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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