Slovenian Minister of Economy Zdravko Pocivalsek has been reported to the European Commission for interfering in the process of transferring Mercator from the "old" Agrokor to Fortenova Group, Ljubljana-based daily Dnevnik reported on Dec. 5.
Fortenova and Agrokor have complained to the European Commission about statements by the Slovenian minister, who has on several occasions over the past few months conditioned Mercator's transfer from the failing Agrokor to Fortenova Group, stating in the report that the Slovenian government is through its minister impermissibly interfering in the transfer process, i.e. in the business decisions of private companies, says the daily.
The information was confirmed by Fortenova representatives, adds the daily, without going into the details of the report. Mercator's transfer to Fortenova Group was to be completed by the end of this year, but that requires the consent of all of Mercator's creditor banks and the process is being stalled by Slovenian state-owned SID bank, which has not given its consent yet.
Over the last few months, Pocivalsek has on several occasions pointed out that Mercator's Slovenian suppliers must even after Mercator is transferred to Fortenova keep the status of main suppliers, and organized a meeting of suppliers, Fortenova and Russian Sberbank in a bid to reach a separate agreement that would guarantee Slovenian suppliers that.
According to Slovenian media, that is the likely reason for the report because seeking special status for a private company's suppliers is contrary to European rules, which prohibit the favoring of particular suppliers in the market game.