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Croatian Mplus Secures Majority Stake in Slovenia’s Leading Agri-Food Company

Croatian services giant Mplus has acquired a 51% stake in Slovenia’s leading agri-food company, Panvita, through a €50 million investment, marking a significant consolidation in the Southeast European food industry

In a strategic move poised to reshape the agri-food landscape of Southeast Europe, Croatian services conglomerate M Plus has acquired a controlling 51% stake in Panvita, Slovenia’s premier agricultural and food company. The acquisition, worth €50 million, remains subject to regulatory approval.

“The two groups are partnering up to position the new group as a leader in the food industry in SE Europe,” Panvita announced on 7 May. The transaction aims to consolidate the two entities’ influence and expand their reach in the regional food market.

Panvita, which celebrated its centenary in 2023, reported revenues surpassing €117 million and gross operating profits of €10.3 million last year. With more than 700 employees and cultivating over 3,500 hectares of land, it is one of Slovenia’s agricultural and food sector powerhouses.

The new partnership brings growth opportunities and access to untapped markets. Despite this change in ownership structure, Panvita’s headquarters will remain in Rakičan, northeastern Slovenia. The group’s management will also maintain a significant local presence.

“Slovenia will continue to be our hub, but regional partnerships will be crucial in accelerating our strategy,” said Panvita CEO Peter Polanič. “Mplus is our ideal strategic partner to position Panvita and the new group as the leading food company in the region.”

Mplus, traditionally a services company specializing in contact centers, IT, and employment services, aims to diversify its portfolio with this transaction. The firm has been active in Slovenia since 2017, following acquisitions and partnerships in marketing communications, customer support, and education.

Viewing Slovenia as its core regional market, Mplus anticipates that the new entity will generate revenues exceeding €500 million. Polanič and Toni Balažič will continue to oversee operations from the management board, joined by two Mplus executives.

However, the acquisition has drawn concern from the Slovenian Chamber of Agriculture and Forestry due to the new group’s potential control over Panvita’s 3,000 hectares of leased state-owned farmland. Despite these concerns, the deal is set to redefine the regional food market, solidifying Mplus and Panvita’s influence across Southeast Europe.

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