The EBRD is supporting regional economic integration in south-eastern Europe with a loan of up to €35 million to help finance the cross-border expansion of Nectar, one of the region’s leading juice and soft drinks producers.
Nectar will use the funding to acquire Fructal d.d., a producer of premium and mainstream branded juices and selected other foods and beverage products in Slovenia. Fructal also operates in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia.
“The acquisition will enhance the two companies’ market presence and brands outreach in the region, by leveraging on the companies’ complementary geographical presence, operational synergies and aligned marketing strategy. This is a really positive example of economic integration between these two countries and within the wider region. Other companies will certainly follow suit,” said Gilles Mettetal, the EBRD’s Director for Agribusiness.
“We are proud to have been re-acknowledged as a long term quality partner by the EBRD. EBRD’s participation in the transaction confirms the business rationale behind the acquisition of Fructal as well as our long term development strategy,” said Slobodan Radun, Nectar’s Founder and President.
Agriculture is one of the key sectors of the Serbian economy, accounting for up to 15.5 per cent of the country’s GDP. Serbia is also the largest grain producer in the region. The EBRD has directly committed more than €365 million in over 29 projects in the agribusiness sector in Serbia since 2003.
Overall the EBRD has committed around €2.7 billion in various sectors of Serbia’s economy, with a total value of some €6 billion.