S&P Reaffirms Croatia’s Agrokor ‘B’ Credit Rating as Bid Expires

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services reaffirmed Agrokor d.d., Croatia’s biggest company, with a rating of ‘B’ as its bid for a stake in Slovenian supermarket chain Mercator Poslovni Sistem (MELR) d.d. expired.

S&P affirmed its ‘B’ long-term corporate credit and senior secured and unsecured debt ratings on Agrokor, the rating agency said in an emailed statement today. S&P put Agrokor on April 7 on negative watch, saying its interest in Mercator may hurt its liquidity.

Agrokor was vying against Warburg Pincus LLC and Mid Europa Partners Ltd. for the Mercator stake offered by Pivovarna Lasko (PILR) Group d.d. Mercator on March 31 called on shareholders to form a group to sell a majority stake in the largest publicly traded retail chain in the Balkans. Lasko rejected the bid on May 4.

“The affirmation reflects the expiration of Agrokor’s bid to acquire a 23 percent in Mercator,” the rating agency said. It also said it is its “view that Agrokor is unlikely to make a new bid in the nearest future.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jasmina Kuzmanovic in Zagreb at jkuzmanovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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