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Business news in Slovenia

Croatia's Mplus buys 51% stake in Slovenian agri-food leader Panvita

Murska Sobota/Zagreb, 07 May (STA) - Panvita, Slovenia's leading agri-food company, has been taken over by Croatian services company Mplus. A EUR 50 million capital increase announced on Tuesday gives Mplus a 51% stake in the group, which generated over EUR 117 million in revenue and EUR 10.3 million in gross operating profit in 2022.

"The two groups are partnering up to position the new group as a leader in the food industry in SE Europe," Panvita, which has a 700-plus workforce at group level, said in a press release.

It added that the investment, pending regulatory approval, will enable growth and expansion through further acquisitions, and that the new group's headquarters and management will remain in Rakičan, in northeastern Slovenia.

Panvita CEO Peter Polanič added that the "centre of our development and operations will remain in Slovenia, but regional partnerships will be key to increasing the effectiveness of our strategy and the pace of its implementation".

"We have identified the Mplus group as the best strategic partner for the development and positioning of Panvita and the new group as the leading food company in the region," he added.

The Panvita group is one of the largest players on the Slovenian agricultural and food market, operating primary in agriculture, the food sector and sustainable energy production. It cultivates more than 3,500 hectares of agricultural land.

Mplus, a service company operating in the contact centre, IT and employment services sectors, is meanwhile entering the agri-food industry.

The group has been present on the Slovenian market since 2017, when it acquired marketing communication company Linea Directa and customer support and engagement technologies firm CDE Nova Tehnologija.

It then entered into a partnership with temping agency Manpower Slovenia, acquired online marketing firm Konverzija, and became a co-owner of IEDC - Business School Bled.

"The Mplus group considers Slovenia its home market, as it is the country in the region where it has made the most investments," the Croatian company said.

The new group is expected to generate revenues of EUR 500 million. Polanič and Panvita director general Toni Balažič will remain on the management board, while they will be joined by two executives from Mplus, the latter's CEO Darko Horvat announced.

The majority ownership of Panvita, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, had been consolidated around Regal - Trgovina and the companies Imo-Real and Imo-Rent, meaning the Polanič family.

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