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On AmCham Business Breakfast – with guest speakers Mr. Debeljak and Mr. Tedeschi – our President Mr. Tomaž Lovše gave an opening speech. As he explained, in 2005 he became foreign investor in Croatia. He remembers how Mr. Tedesci gave in interview for a local newspaper for Jutranji list and in he said: ‘’It is too bad for us that Slovenians buy parts of our best companies.’’ But now in 2010 he became an investor in Slovenia and Mr. Lovše believes that he will do well for Droga Kolinska. He said that he is happy that Mr. Tedeschi invested in Slovenia.

Mr. Žiga Debeljak, M.Sc., president of Poslovni sistem Mercator presented the vision and strategic objectives, markets (present in 7 markets in the region) and different strategic priorities, revenues (Slovenian market represent only 2/3 of the companies revenue), strategic drivers, loyalty clubs and private label lines (every 7th sold item comes from private label line), expansion of retail network (in Slovenia there are no more opportunities for growth because they are number one, so their priorities are expansion in foreign markets, especially Albania and Bulgaria), strategic alliances in 2010 (Getro, Panto Group and Coka Group), macroeconomic conditions in the SEE region, anti-crisis measures for the year 2010, and strategic value creation opportunities for the Mercator d.d.. He also mentioned that Mercator d.d. in currently focusing on real-estate monetization, while the company owner 1.5 mil m2 of real estate land.

Second guest speaker was Mr. Emil Tedesci, president of Atlantic Grupa. He spoke about ongoing acquisition of share of Droga Kolinska. He spoke about the positioning of Atlantic grupa in the region, and how some of its brands rank among top 10 brands in the region. He said that there will be no change in the brands or in the mind of the consumers if the ownership shifts. Mergers are the only way to do business today.

Some questions were raised. First question, ‘’What is your game plan for Droga Kolinska?’’, was intended for Mr. Tedesci. He offered short answer, which was that they will invest in all five major business lines. The second question, ‘’What is your strategy for markets outside Slovenia?’’, was intended for Mr. Debeljak. He answered that the strategy is strategic alliances to attend as much of strategic possibilities as possible. “Grow, align and consolidate, these are 3 steps that we use outside Slovenia.”

Special thanks to our sponsor Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d..