The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has reduced its equity stake in Atlantic Grupa, increasing the liquidity of the company’s stock, and more importantly signalising the successful completion of one development stage and the Atlantic Grupa's readiness for a new strategic leap.
The EBRD sold 132,615 shares of Atlantic Grupa, representing 3.98 per cent of the company’s share capital, through a private placement executed on 13 May 2016 on the OTC market, led by the investment company InterCapital Securities Ltd, Atlantic Grupa said in a press release.
Following the private placement, the EBRD has continued its partnership with Atlantic Grupa by retaining a 2 per cent shareholding in the company, and remains supportive for further assistance in the Company’s development through different forms of cooperation (capital increase, loan, mezzanine financing).
"We are exceptionally pleased with our longstanding cooperation with Atlantic Grupa and the Company’s development and achievements over the years," said Miljan Zdrale, EBRD’s Head of Agribusiness for Central and South-Eastern Europe.
He underscored that owing to its strong business model, prudent strategy and highly experienced management team, Atlantic Grupa had won a strong reputation as a successful market participant with the ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions.
"By remaining a shareholder in the company, the EBRD will continue to support Atlantic Grupa’s further development and expansion plans, with special emphasis on cross-border and international activities. By reducing our investment we help to increase the liquidity of the Company’s stock and therefore support the firm’s growth strategy, as well as the development of local capital markets." Zdrale said.
Emil Tedeschi, President and CEO of Atlantic Grupa said that the EBRD had recognised the value and potential of Atlantic Grupa at an early stage in the company’s development and continued to support the company in its ambitions to improve and grow.
"We are happy to continue to have the EBRD as our shareholder and investor, a partner focused on sustainability in all aspects of the business, including the wider development of the Croatian capital market, confirmed by the latest transaction," Tedeschi said.
Atlantic Grupa and the EBRD have enjoyed a long and successful cooperation. In July 2010, the EBRD became a shareholder in Atlantic Grupa to support the Company’s landmark acquisition of the leading Slovenian food processing company Droga Kolinska. Today the latter is fully integrated into Atlantic Grupa. EBRD has also supported Atlantic Grupa’s development over the years through provision of debt financing, in late 2012 and recently in May 2016.
Compared to the period when the EBRD entered the Company, Atlantic Grupa today records half the level of indebtedness.