The Republic of Serbia's Commission for Protection of Competition, upon completion of an in-depth procedure, has approved Imlek's acquisition of Niška Mlekara's shares, making them 100% owners of this dairy company. The full decision document regarding this case has been published on the Commission's official website.
Imlek has initially signed the contract to buy Niška Mlekara – one of the largest dairy companies in Southern Serbia (top 5 nationally) – in October 2015, but it needed the Commission's approval in order to finalise the deal. The approval was needed foremost because of Imlek's already considerable market presence in the dairy industry, and so having in mind the size of Niška Mlekara and their prior role of Imlek's competitors, the deal was subjected to the Commission's in-depth review of the concentration.
According to Imlek's officials, the main motivation behind this acquisition has been the planned improvement and modernisation of Niška Mlekara's production facilities through future investments. The central focus points in this regard being the compliance with Imlek's established standards, the general upgrade of the company's most famous brand, "Vedro", and the increase in volume production – all of these factors together presenting the realisation of Imlek's long-term goals in terms of advancing its business.
Imlek was originally founded in 1953 and – after changing owners a couple of times – has been under the ownership of the Mid Europa Partners fund since February 2016, as part of the "My Brands" group along with Bambi and Knjaz Miloš. It is one of the companies with the longest tradition in Serbia, and a number of iconic and highly recognisable brands. The company is represented throughout the region, as it currently operates in Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia. Imlek has existing exporting agreements with Russia, as well as plans of making similar agreements with China in the near future.