Bloomberg News

Serbia’s MK Group Is Among Bidders for Stake in Hellenic Sugar

September 29, 2011

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- MK Group d.o.o. is among bidders competing to buy a controlling stake in Greek sugar refiner Hellenic Sugar Co., the Serbian company’s owner, Miodrag Kostic, said.

MK Group, a holding company for agribusiness, sugar refining, trade, tourism, information technology and property management, submitted a non-binding offer for 82.33 percent of Hellenic Sugar. Bidders will have up to four months to inspect documents before making binding bids, Kostic said in an interview at a bank conference in Belgrade yesterday.

Hellenic Sugar’s owner, Agricultural Bank of Greece SA, is is selling non-banking activities as part of a restructuring plan. The takeover of Hellenic Sugar, with a market value of between 32 million euros ($44 million) and 40 million euros, would help MK Group expands in the Balkans, Kostic said. Nordzucker Gmbh & Co KG and Suedzucker AG are also bidding.

“The competition is tough,” Kostic said. “We consider ourselves among the most serious competitors, along with Suedzucker and Nordzucker.”

MK Group runs its sugar business in Serbia through Sunoko d.o.o., a unit that operates four refineries.

The investment would open up sugar markets in neighboring Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania, “but primarily Greece because Greece is our top sugar buyer, they do not produce enough sugar,” said Kostic said.

Serbia exports around 100,000 tons of sugar to Greece worth between 70 million euros and 80 million euros a year, accounting for 65 percent of an annual sugar export quota the country has with the European Union.

--Editors: James M. Gomez, Douglas Lytle

To contact the reporter on this story: Gordana Filipovic in Belgrade at gfilipovic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net


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