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Meat group Celjske Mesnine gets Croatian owner

Celje, 20 May (STA) - Celjske Mesnine, a Slovenian meat processing company, has been sold to the Croatian company Mesna Industrija Braća Pivac. The contract has already been signed, but will take effect when all approvals have been obtained, Celjske Mesnine said on Monday. The sale comes after Slovenian food company Panvita was sold to a Croatian company.

The new strategic owner is taking over the group's main production and processing company Celjske Mesnine Z'dežele; prosciutto company Pršutarna S' Krasa; and Celjske Mesnine - Storitve, which employs disabled persons.

Radgonske Gorice, a wine making company, meanwhile remains in the hands of Izidor Krivec, who also remains on as chairman of the Celjske Mesnine board.

The sale contract for Celjske Mesnine was signed by its owner, CM Invest.

Krivec said in a press release that the entry of a strategic partner is good news for Celjske Mesnine, its employees, suppliers and consumers.

Celjske Mesnine is already the largest buyer of livestock and processor of red meat in Slovenia, which will not change in the future, he assured.

"The meat industry in Slovenia and the broader region is undergoing a process of integration. The market is increasingly open. Companies with multi-billion turnover are directly entering our shelves," Krivec was quoted as saying in the press release.

"This partnership will therefore be mutually beneficial, enabling the further growth of Celjske Mesnine and the new group, which will be the largest and most successful in the red meat sector in the region," he added.

The company will remain a reliable partner of Slovenian cooperatives and family farms, and one of the key suppliers of Slovenian consumers with good quality Slovenian food.

"We will continue to do our best to ensure stable food security and self-sufficiency in Slovenia. Z'dežele brand will continue to strengthen."

Mesna Industrija Braća Pivac has own meat production and processing facilities in Croatia and in order to optimise production and boost distribution efficiency, it plans to consolidate part of the production in Celje.

CEO Neven Pivac sees the deal with Celjske Mesnine as a logical integration of strong companies, saying they saw Celjske Mesnine as a company with great potential.

The new owners pledge to take a strategic approach to keeping the Slovenian brand of Celjske Mesnine on the market.

Apart from Mesna Industrija Braća Pivac, the family-owned Pivac Group features two more meat companies, PKK Karlovačka Mesna Industrija and Mesna Industrija Vajda.

Mesna Industrija Braća Pivac meanwhile owns Croatian candy company Kraš and has more than 5% in Croatian food company Podravka, which in turn owns Slovenian food firm Žito.

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