Croatians looking to take over sugar market in Serbia

Together with the French sugar corporation Cristal Union, Croatian sugar company, Viro has the biggest chance of acquiring two Serbian sugar plants – one in Crvenka and one in Zabalj. These two factories are currently owned by the Greek company Hellenic Sugar.

Also, two Serbian companies have expressed interest in acquiring the plants in Crvenka and Zabalj – Sunoko, owned by Miodrag Kostic and one of Petar Matijevic’s companies. Furthermore, the French company Tereos has also sent a letter of interest stating their intention to acquire the two plants.

However, it seems that the Croatians stand the biggest chance of taking over the two companies, providing the Greeks don’t stop the sale because they have hired an army of financial experts to lobby on their behalf with the help of their French business partners.

If the Croatians company do acquire the plants in Crvenka and Zabalj, that would be mean that Croatia would own the biggest number of food companies in Serbia and would use Serbia as its raw-material supply base.

“Viro is willing to give a much better offer than the competitors. The reasons why the “battle” is so fierce is because acquiring the two sugar plants is a pretty big bite for them to chew on and by doing so, they would expand their production immensely. Also, the EU has announced that it would abolish sugar quotas. If they do acquire the two plants, their total production would amount to 200,000 tons with 181,000 tons produced in Serbia alone”, a source close to Hellenic Sugar explains.

Petar Matijevic says he is willing to fight for the factories in Crvenka and Zabalj, and adds: “I grow sugar beet on 5,000 hectares of land. I also want to have processing capacities. I don’t know whether I can fight against Croatian and French companies, because they can offer much more, but what is important for me is not to allow anyone to have a monopoly on the market.”

Sunoko, owned by Miodrag Kostic, confirms its interest and says that if they acquired the two plants in Crvenka and Zabalj, Serbia would become the main sugar supplier to Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia and other former Yugoslav republics.

(eKapija, 03.03.2017)

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