Marfin buys Serbia’s largest store

Marfin Investment Group (MIG) is backing Verano Motors in its €360m winning bid for JSC Robne Kuce Beograd (RKB), Serbia’s largest department store.

Verano Motors – which is part of Serbian cars-to-real estate conglomerate Verano Group and owned by Radomir Zivanic – won the auction conducted by Serbia’s privatisation authority. In an agreement reached with Verano, MIG will become a 66.67% shareholder in RKB.

MIG vice-chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos said the deal meant that “MIG is set to become the largest commercial real estate owner in Serbia. This provides the potential to realise substantial synergies with all companies where MIG has full or partial control and which are already present or plan to enter in the Serbian market.”

The signing of the transaction was expected to take place on November 5 in Belgrade, with the deal closing no earlier than December 5, pending competition approval.

RKB has historically been the leading department store chain in the former Yugoslavia and among the largest chains across Europe. It owns a significant real estate portfolio comprising assets in some of the most central locations in all the major cities in Serbia and Montenegro, with a total area of about 231,000 square metres. This comprises 32 department stores in Serbia and four in Montenegro.