Croatia's Poslovni Dnevnik daily cites unofficial sources saying that the French dairy giant Lactalis, owner of Dukat, is quite interested in Imlek, the leading dairy company in Serbia that also operates and has factories in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia. The acquisition of Imlek by Lactalis may cement the leading position of the latter in the regional market.
However, if Imlek is sold to another bidder, Dukat, through which Lactalis runs all operations on the territories of former Yugoslavia and Southeast Europe, may continue its tough battle with the new competitor. There is still no precise information regarding which phase the sale of Imlek is in or whether negotiations with another big foreign player are underway.
Imlek Director General Slobodan Petrovic said in a statement for Poslovni Dnevnik that "because of the non-disclosure agreements signed, large companies that are, as a rule, listed on stock exchanges do not allow their name to be mentioned before the transaction is agreed and closed". Petrovic, however, did not deny that the negotiations were in progress.
- We are talking with potential buyers interested in Imlek and Bambi, but we haven't started negotiations on the sale of Knjaz Milos yet. Podravka expressed the initial interest in Bambi, but then withdrew before any talks began. I also must mention that the information that we have set the price for Bambi at EUR 200 million is not correct - the former CEO of Salford claims.
By the way, Imlek last year registered a consolidated business revenue of nearly EUR 220 million and the net profit of about EUR 14 million. Poslovni Dnevnik stresses that Salford made a significant investment in Imlek and its foreign subsidiaries and that Salford's timing for the sale of that company is not the best. According to this daily newspaper, Luka Rajic was paid EUR 280 million for Dukat one year before the crisis, while Dukat's consolidated revenue in 2010 amounted to HRK 1.73 billion (EUR 237 million), with the net profit of EUR 19.5 million.
Since the beginning of the year, the shares of Imlek on the Belgrade Stock Exchange have gained 10.5 percent in value. With the latest price of RSD 2,101 per share, the company's market capitalization amounts to RSD 19.1 billion (EUR 182 million).