Source: Dnevnik | Monday, 05.12.2011.| 12:11
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Changes in Victoria Group's ownership relations and management

Victoria Group, one of the leading agroindustrial companies in Serbia and the region, has introduced certain changes to its ownership structure and top management, Dnevnik daily reports. Unofficially, one of co-owners of Victoria Group, Stanko Popovic, has sold its stake and left the company. As Dnevnik learns, he will from now on engage in a "cement business" in Sabac. Also, Victoria Group CEO Nikola Vujacic is going to leave his post. He was unable to confirm that information yesterday, but he said that the company was going through certain changes, adding that the public would be informed about everything either Monday or Tuesday. Vujacic could not cite the reasons why Victoria Group's business system was shaken.

Let us remind that a majority stake in Victoria Group is held by local businessmen, but foreigners also hold a certain stake. Namely, 64% of shares are owned by Stanko Popovic, Milija Babovic and Zoran Mitrovic. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) holds a 24-percent stake, whereas 12% of shares are in the possession of businessman Nandi Ahuja. The EBRD paid EUR 40 million for its stake in Victoria Group during the recapitalization process in April 2009. What is mentioned as a reason for the current situation in the company is dissatisfaction of the EBRD and another foreign owner with the system's operations.

Changes in the ownership and management structures might not be that important if they did not represent a real opportunity for a radical change in the business policy of Victoria Group towards the Serbian agrarian sector. Namely, when it comes to the primary agricultural production, the role of this company is of great significance. It is enough to say that Victoria invests about EUR 150 million per year in the primary production, providing seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, and cooperates with 25,000 farmers growing soybean, sunflower, corn, oilseed rape, wheat... According to the information provided by the company, over the last two years Victoria Group has become the largest individual buyer of wheat and corn in Serbia and the biggest exporter of wheat.

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