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VELPRO – Centar to merge with Konzum

12/19/2019

Further strengthening of wholesale and utilisation of synergies at Fortenova Group level

Fortenova Group made the decision that at the end of 2019 VELPRO-Centar plus would merge with Konzum plus. The objective of such merger is to additionally strengthen the Fortenova Group wholesale segment, with the largest wholesale in Croatia operating under the wing of Konzum, Croatia's largest retail company. At the same time, such move will result in significant synergies and increased operational efficiency. The amalgamation will also provide for numerous other advantages, primarily the optimisation of assortment which will be formed to meet customer needs in all sales channels, and for a stable coverage of the national market with a high level of supply and distribution services, particularly during the tourist season. The main pillar in strengthening the distribution are its employees with long-standing experience, the distribution fleet with more than 150 delivery trucks, as well as 16 cash&carry and distribution centers, with further modernisation of sales premises and processes planned.

All current business partners of VELPRO-Centar plus will continue to be an important part of the merged chain's operations, particularly Plus market and other small storeholders to whom Velpro centar has been a significant strategic partner in developing independent retail in Croatia for many years. Thus VELPRO-Centar plus does business with more than 450 legal entities under the small store brand Plus market and has strategic cooperations with all small storeholder associations across Croatia. At the same time, given that this is a merger process, the new company shall assume the obligations from all existing contracts and agreed distribution terms, which also applies to public procurement contracts. VELPRO Centar plus shall continue to be present in all sales channels (Horeca and Retail).

Ivica Pivar, Director of VELPRO Centar plus, said:  „VELPRO - Centar plus has so far been the largest wholesaler on the Croatian market and after the merger with Konzum we will additionally strengthen our business, particularly its further development and long-term sustainability. Significant synergies that we will realise by a more efficient assortment, supply chain and entire operations management will enable a major improvement of overall services to our end customers – small storeholders and independent retailers, through Plus market stores, HoReCa, as well as in the public procurement segment.

VELPRO - Centar plus has 16 wholesale centers in Croatia and employs more than 800 people in total. For most of the employees the amalgamation process actually means to return under the wing of Konzum, within the scope of which VELPRO Centar plus operated until 31 December 2015, which provides employees with additional security as it ensures the long-term sustainability of business and shifts in development.

Slavko Ledić, CEO of Konzum plus, stated on this occasion: „By merging with VELPRO-Centar plus Konzum shall additionally strengthen its market position in all key indicators. Konzum shall thus generate an additional HRK 1bn in total revenues, its network will expand to 16 wholesale centers in Croatia and our team will grow to 11,000 employees. 800 of them, coming from VELPRO-Centar plus, will serve more than 4,500 wholesale customers. The large team of Konzum and VELPRO employees will have a common goal and mission, though – besides being the leader on the retail market, to also be the most successful wholesaler in Croatia, which will create new values for our employees, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders.“

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