MERCATOR, d.d., Ljubljana
Mercator successfully sold 10 shopping centres in Slovenia
Pursuant to the Rules and Regulations of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange, d.d, and the relevant legislation, the company Poslovni sistem Mercator, d.d., Ljubljana, hereby informs the shareholders and the public of the following:
Mercator and Supernova signed a contract for the sale of ten shopping centres in Slovenia today. The sales contract, worth 116.6 million Euro, provides that Mercator shall rent parts of the centres where it performs its principal activity. The signed contract is proof that Mercator continues to successfully execute the monetization project, which is intended to reduce the Group’s debt and enable its long-term development. The sale of ten shopping centres in Slovenia concludes the second phase of the monetization project, which Mercator shall continue to carry out in the future.
Led by Tomislav Čizmić, Mercator's management board prepared a new strategy in the past year that aims to considerably lower Mercator’s indebtedness and thus ensure pre-conditions for a new investment cycle, which is key for the long-term development of the largest merchant in Slovenia and the region. The monetization project began with the sale of the shopping centre in Belgrade at the end of last year. At the beginning of this year, Mercator launched an international tender, inviting international investors and investment funds whose principal activity is property management. The project included 17 centres in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the sale of the centres in Slovenia and the conclusion of the second phase of the monetization, Mercator shall initiate the third phase, which includes the sale of centres in the remaining two countries. This way, we shall continue with our set strategy in accordance with the long-term business plan while at the same time fulfilling our obligations under the signed agreements with creditor banks.
In accordance with the contract, Supernova shall acquire the shopping centres Ajdovščina, Celje, Jesenice, Koper I, Kranj Primskovo, Kranj Savski otok, Ljubljana Šiška, Postojna, Novo mesto, and Slovenj Gradec. The contract provided Mercator with a rental agreement for a period of 15 years, with the possibility of extending the agreement for another 15 years under the same conditions. During negotiations, Mercator pursued two key criteria–the sale price amount and the rental amount. The new owner of the shopping centres is obligated under the contract to invest into their restoration.
“Today’s signing of the contract represents a solid foundation for the successful achievement of key goals that await the Mercator Group in the future. By signing the contract, we have in fact set a good foundation for the new investment cycle, especially the new distribution and logistics centre in Ljubljana that Mercator needs to reduce logistics costs and to simplify and speed up the rate at which the work processes are being updated. A significant cost reduction also represents a better basis for rewarding the effort and knowledge everyone at Mercator is contributing to ensure a successful future for the company,” said Tomislav Čizmić, the president of the board of the Mercator Group.
Frank Albert, owner of Supernova Group, stresses out the importance of the deal: “The transaction was performed in a fair way contributing to long term lasting relationship. This deal will secure leading market positions for Supernova as well as Mercator. While Supernova is enlarging its portfolio of well-established shopping centres in Slovenian biggest cities, Mercator may focus on its core competence as food supplier. We are looking forward to continuing this amical partnership.”
Founded in 1994 by Frank Philip Albert, Supernova is headquartered in Graz and maintains offices in Vienna, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Bratislava and Belgrade. Supernova has been focusing on the development of and the investment in real estate and its current portfolio exceeds the value of 1 billion EUR in assets.
After the conclusion of the sale, Mercator shall remain a 81-% owner of properties in Slovenia that are intended for the performance of its principal activity.
This announcement will be published on the company’s website at www.mercatorgroup.si as of October 12, 2018, and will remain posted for a period of at least five years.
Poslovni sistem Mercator, d.d.