The French Cristal Union Group has bought 17% of the shares in the Viro sugar factory from Viro's largest private shareholder, Marinko Zadro, the company reported on Thursday.
"We have had excellent cooperation with the Cristal Union Group over the past 10 years and mutual interest in joint ownership emerged through recognition of competitive advantages that this partnership brings," President of the Management Board Zeljko Zadro said.
The Cristal Union Group is a major European producer of sugar, alcohol and bioethanol. It operates primarily in France, although a significant share of its sales is carried out abroad.
Its organisation and operations are based on the cooperative model and it attracts tens of thousands of sugar beet producers and has more than 2,000 employees in 20 of the 29 regions where sugar beet is grown in France.
"The entry of one of Europe's largest companies in the sugar industry into the ownership structure will facilitate a huge step forward in exports for the Viro Group as well as provide an opportunity for the exchange of know-how and experiences in sugar and sugar beet production," Zadro said.