The Croatian Agrokor Group and the Belgian Ardo Group signed an agreement on mutual cooperation and a joint venture contract at the Vinka processing plant in Vinkovci on June 8th.
The agreement was signed by Ivica Todorić, President of the Agrokor Group and Bernard Haspeslagh, Ardo’s Chief Operations Officer, in the presence of Domagoj Franić, Director of Vinka, Vladimir Džaja, Director of PIK Vinkovci, Božo Galić, Commissioner of Vukovar-Srijem County and Mladen Karlić, the Mayor of Vinkovci, as well as Vinka’s agricultural subcontractors and numerous other guests.
Through the signing of the contract, which is worth €50mio, both companies will become equal owners of the Vinka d.d. company. This joint venture cooperation will result in Vinka becoming a leading manufacturing plant of frozen fruits and vegetables in Eastern Europe.
This will be achieved through strong investment and through the consolidation of agricultural, industrial and market knowledge of both groups, creating economies of scale. With significant investments to increase the production capacity, volume will quadruple in the upcoming period and will increase from the existing 15,000 tons to 60,000 tons of frozen fruits and vegetables. This significant increase in the production capacity will also create a large number of new jobs.
For Ardo, this contract represents a further development of business in Central and Eastern Europe. With this joint venture, Vinka will be part of Ardo’s industrial network ensuring a firm manufacturing base with a strong and reputable local partner. On the occasion of the signing of the Joint Venture Contract, Bernard Haspeslagh, Ardo Chief Operations Officer commented: “Thanks to this joint venture we are realizing a long-term partnership within which we can exchange and develop knowledge in the production and processing of frozen fruits and vegetables in a growing market. Agrokor’s agricultural potential combined with Ardo’s industrial knowledge will create a leading production in Eastern Europe. We strongly believe in the agricultural potential of the Danube valley.The combination of the productions of both the Vinka facility and Ardo’s existing Austrian facility in this fertile valley, will create a complementary product range for the Eastern European market”
Ivica Todorić, President of Agrokor Group pointed out; “Agrokor has so far invested nearly €25mio in Vinka. We have financially and operationally improved the company. Agrokor has chosen Ardo as a strategic partner to increase the current production volumes from 15,000 tons to 60,000 tons. Together with our partner Ardo, we will increase the production and employment through the creation of over 100 jobs.
It is especially important to note that this increase in production will result in the export of Croatian products to more than 60 different markets worldwide where Ardo is present. This is a great opportunity for our domestic production and for our subcontractors enabling them to enter new markets. Thanks to these investments, the current number of cooperation partners will grow from 80 to over 300 subcontractors, who will realize their production on thousand hectares of land.”
This cooperation was also praised by the Commissioner of Vukovar– Srijem County, Božo Galić, who said: “Vinka has been government owned for a long time and after several failed business initiatives of different companies, Agrokor managed in a short period to revive the company through significant investment, resulting in a big potential for our county. I am glad that this potential was also identified by the Belgian Ardo Group as a foreign investor and I am sure that today’s signing will be a milestone in the development and the operations of the Vinka plant. At the same time this investment will open new opportunities for our farmers, boosting all other economical activities, which will also increase the total employment in our county.“
Source: Fresh Plaza
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