Polish Investors Continue to Express Big Interest in Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

Polish interest and continual investment remains strong.

”The market share(s) can be increased by organic growth or through takeovers, so we may have to go from Dalmatia to other parts of the Republic of Croatia,” said Studenac’s boss.

As Tomislav Pili/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of September, 2018, due to the expected growth in consumption, both in total and within the tourism sector, the Polish company Enterprise Investors intends to remain in Croatia for a very long time, and after Pan-Pek and the Studenac retail chain, they are interested in investments across other parts of the country, too.

”Enterprise Investors is the oldest venture capital venture in Eastern Europe, founded back in 1990,” said Michal Kedzia, a partner at the company on Thursday.

It was heard at the American Chamber of Commerce in Croatia that since this company’s very foundation, they have invested in 1.8 billion euros in 148 companies, and in this region alone, about 100 million euros of their money has been invested over the last few years.

Back in spring this year, one of Enterprise’s funds took over a 65 percent stake in Pan-Pek, and at the beginning of the summer, it took over 100 percent of the ownership in the Studenac trading chain, which is focused on the market of Dalmatia. In regard to Pan-Pek, Michal Kedzia said that they decided to go forth and invest in the current growth trend of frozen baked products. On the other hand, Studenac is one of the most successful Dalmatian shopping chains, added a representative of Polish investors.

“Consumption, not just in the touristic sense, is a catalyst for the success of our investments in Croatia,” Kedzia said. Studenac’s President Michal Senczuk responded to the question of just how he intends to increase Studenac’s share, and whether or not the company have counted on Konzum, by claiming that the chain in question was a very strong company.

“I’ve not seen their problems as some sort of opportunity because they’re a very strong player, and in terms of shares, it can be increased in two ways: by organic growth or through takeovers, so we may have to spread out from Dalmatia into other parts of Croatia,” Senczuk said.

”Whenever a good opportunity to buy appears, we’ll consider it,” said Michal Kedzia, among other things, this offered an insight into the question of their potential interest in investing in Agrokor, after the restructuring process is finally completed.

During the panel discussion, Michal Senczuk said that his first impressions were that Croats were very open for business relations.

“But on the other hand, conducting business in Split is quite different than it is Zagreb because of the completely different mentalities,” claims Senczuk. The theme of the panel was focused on the investment environment and the perspective of venture capital investment in Croatia. Hrvoje Dolenec, the chief economist of Zagrebačka banka, estimated that the growth prognoses in Croatia are still positive, which will also obviously also affect the country’s overall economic growth.

“But the cause for concern is that our growth is still weaker than comparable countries, in addition to tourism, the growth potential of the construction industry is undergoing recovery,” Dolenec stated, before adding that in the last two years, the trends in industrial production have been changing.

”Instead of traditional industries – oil, chemical and shipbuilding, we’ve seen growth in the pharmaceutical and food industries, and the plastics and rubber sectors, due to the export of automotive parts,” stated Dolenec.

For the director of the company COMITIUM, Croatia’s main problem is the lack of skilled labour and a technological gap. “Without investment in technology and skilled labour, we can’t increase our productivity,” said Kolak.


Click here for the original article by Tomislav Pili for Poslovni Dnevnik


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