Forbes Serbia: Biggest landowner in Serbia is Matijevic Meat Industry

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Beta Briefing | 22.02.24

Forbes Serbia: Biggest Landowner in Serbia Is Matijevic Meat Industry

The largest landowners in Serbia are Matijevic Meat Industry, Al Dahra from the United Arab Emirates, Delta Holding, Almex, Login EKO, Coric Agrar, company Mile Blagojevic, Elit Agrar, Al Rawafed, and company Nicko, Forbes Serbia reported on Feb. 22.  

Matijevic Meat Industry, also operating Matijevic Agrar, cultivates 36,000 hectares of land in Vojvodina and an additional 2,000 hectares in Croatia, with 33,000 hectares owned by the corporation, which also produces ingredients for farm animal feed. Under its roof, the holding company has 106 business entities operating in agriculture, trade and hospitality industry. One of the corporation’s latest major transactions include acquisition of a majority stake in Vrbas-based Mitron Group, bringing to the holding another ten business, including oil maker Banat and farm Sava Kovacevic, with the latter adding around 4,000 hectares to Matijevic Meat Industry.

For five years Al Dahra has been ranked the second biggest landowner in Serbia, having bought in October 2018 a stake in agribusiness company PKB Corporation for EUR 121 million, and taking over 17,000 hectares. According to then media reports, the company paid EUR 80 million for the land, or EUR 4,700 per hectare.

The purchase agreement with PKB Corporation, allowed Al Dahra to over the first three years sell, without needing approval of the state, 10 percent of land a year, or 1,700 hectares each year during this period. It is possible that Al Dahra has actually sold some of the hectares in its possession, as available data shows that it currently owns 14,429 hectares.

MK Group cultivates more than 13,500 hectares of land in Vojvodina. On 1,497 hectares of arable land, he grows vegetables, green beans, peas, sweet corn, and potatoes. They have 16.5 hectares of their own vineyards, while 85 hectares are under apples. Insiders claim that they own about 11,000 hectares of land, and according to available data, less than 10,000 hectares.

The majority is owned by their company, Karneks, about 3,500 hectares, Agropanonija from Kula has a little more than 2,000 hectares, BD Agro owns about 1,100 hectares, and PIK Bečej has less than 1,000 hectares.

According to information from the official website, Delta Holding cultivates a total of 15,000 hectares on five agricultural estates. On the one hand, it can be heard that they are the owners of 95 percent of the land, they are allocated 10,000 hectares, and the company's ownership records alone lead to less than 7,000 hectares.

According to available data, their company "Napredak" owns about 3,900 hectares, Delta agrar owns a little more than 1,000 hectares, "Topola" owns a little less than 1,000 hectares. Delta agrar is engaged in farming, fruit and vegetable production and animal husbandry, on five agricultural estates.

In the field of cooperation and purchase, the company deals with the purchase of fruits and vegetables, meat and livestock, retail sales and provides multi-year contracting for the production of arable, fruit and vegetable crops with primary producers through five purchase centers.

According to the financial report for 2022, Almex from Pancevo owns about 10,000 hectares of land, and they cultivate a total of about 15,000 hectares. That company is an importer and distributor of agricultural machinery of well-known brands.

Login eko is owned by a Slovenian married couple, well-known in the IT industry. We are talking about Iza and Sam Login, the authors of the Talking Tom video game. They sold the business for one billion dollars and gave part of the money to buy land in Vojvodina.

At that time, there was talk of buying around 4,000 hectares of land in Banat, where they plan to engage in organic production. Their company Login eko, as you can see, today owns 3,600 hectares.

Right next to them is Ćorić agrar from Bašaid, who states in his financial report for 2022 that they own about 2,000 hectares. The owner of the company is Krsto Ćorić, and the main activity of the company in the beginning was exclusively retail and wholesale trade in agricultural machinery.

The currently available data indicate that it is quite possible that this company has increased its holdings to around 3,300 hectares in the meantime. Ćorić agrar himself owns 1,653 hectares, Graničar 917 hectares, and Kipetrol owns about 700 hectares.

Mile Blagojević was the owner of two companies and over 3,130 hectares of land. His company "Ratkovo" owns 2,000 hectares, but it was annexed to the company "Čalma" in December 2012.

Agricultural production company "Čalma" was founded at the very end of 2001. The main activity of the company is the cultivation of grain (except rice), legumes and oilseeds. It owns 1,130 hectares.

In 2019, two Arab companies consolidated, Elit agrar took over Al Ravafed. On this occasion, they requested approval from the Commission for the Protection of Competition. From that document, it can be seen that Elit agrar is present through the company Zobnatica, which carries out agricultural activities on an area of ​​1,621 hectares, of which only 114 hectares are owned by the company.

Al Ravafed Serbia mainly cultivates wheat, corn, sunflower and soybeans, on a total of about 10,400 hectares, of which 2,586 hectares are its own land.

Available data show that Al Ravader now has 2,625 hectares and Zobnatica 80 hectares.

The company Nicko (NicCo) owned by Vanja and Irene Nicović, through subsidiaries, is among the significant owners of land in Serbia. According to available data, a total of less than 2,300 hectares are owned by several related companies.

Nicko agrar owns the most - 1,080 hectares, and "Jedinstvo" Belo Blato about 800 hectares.

The first results of the Census of Agriculture show that 4,073,703 hectares of land are available in Serbia, and in the previous census, from 2012, it was determined that 5,346,597 hectares were available, so that in all probability construction took almost a quarter of agriculture, 23 ,1 percent of the country.

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Forbes Serbia | 22 Feb 2024

(This is a Google translation of the original)

WE ARE INVESTIGATING Who are the biggest owners of fields in Serbia: They advanced faster than Europe

Aleksandra Bulatović 

The researchers received the material. In the coming months, on the basis of the recently completed Census of Agriculture, it will be determined why animal husbandry is on the decline, what kind of mechanization is there, which type of farms is the most economically strong, how many workers they employ...

Although they also collected this data through surveys, statisticians are not allowed to announce who owns the most hectares of arable land. So we won't get the official list even after this summing up of fields, pastures, and vineyards.

The main players in Serbian agriculture have been the same for years. They may change the order if they sell or buy new hectares, but the circle of the five largest landowners does not change.

The first results of the Census of Agriculture, which have just been presented, show certain changes. Enumerators surveyed 4,073,703 hectares of available agricultural land . In the previous census, from 2012, it was determined that 5,346,597 hectares were available, so that, in all probability, the construction of agriculture took almost a quarter - 23.1 percent - of the land.

"According to the first data from the census, 3,257,000 hectares are used, and according to the last census, 3,437,000 were used. That's 5.25 percent less," agroeconomist Milan Prostran , who participated in processing the data from the previous census, told Forbes Serbia . "Unused land also decreased. Now it is 112,000 hectares. The average possession increased. It is 6.4 hectares, and it was 5.4 hectares”.

There are fewer big ones, but they hold more

While we await the detailed elaboration of the latest data from the field, it is worth keeping in mind what was learned from the last census. At that time, Serbia had 631,522 agricultural holdings and we were seventh in the European competition. Today there are 508,365 of them.

But the average farm size of 5.4 hectares at the time was 2.6 times smaller than the average farm size in the European Union. Only four EU members - Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Malta - had smaller average holdings.

The analysis then noted that there is no significant difference in the amount of available land used by small farms. Even then, the difference was significant when it came to large estates.

Agricultural farms larger than 100 hectares in the EU accounted for 2.7 percent of the total number and used 50 percent of arable land. In Serbia, they were only 0.3 percent, but they held 23.8 percent of the land .

"It is curious to note that the average size of the agricultural holdings of the largest holding groups, from 50 to 100 and larger than 100 hectares, is larger in Serbia than in the EU. And that for 0.71 hectares for the former and for as much as 158.71 for the latter", is one of the conclusions of the analysis of agricultural holdings by economic strength. "This is the result of the influence of three ownership groups of larger family farms that are "transitional winners" ("100-500 ha", "500-1000 ha" and "1000-2500 ha") and especially privatized former social and remaining social enterprises. in restitution", as well as state farms in the five largest ownership groups, which can be potentially competitive not only with European farms, but also with farms in the world's strongest agricultural economy for export - the USA".

Despite all the limitations of the available data, Forbes Serbia presents a cross-section of the largest landowners in Serbia.

1. Matijević meat industry

Matijević Agrar cultivates 36,000 hectares of land throughout Vojvodina and 2,000 in Croatia. They own as much as 33,000 hectares. On their arable land, they produce all the macrocomponents for animal feed.

This company has 106 companies in the fields of agriculture, trade and catering. The number of hectares owned has increased over the years. Among the last major transactions was the purchase of a majority stake in Mitron Group from Vrbas. With her, ten other companies joined the corporation, including the Banat oil factory and the Sava Kovačević agricultural farm. This farm alone brought about 4,000 hectares to the Matijevićs.

2. Al Dahra

The Al Dahra company has been second on the list of the largest land owners in Serbia for five years. And that thanks to the purchase of part of PKB's assets in October 2018. They gave 121 million euros for it, and among the most significant items is the acquisition of 17,000 hectares of land.

As the Insider wrote, this company paid 80 million euros for the land alone. In that case, the calculation says that they paid 4,700 euros per hectare.

According to the contract on the sale of PKB's assets, Al Dahra had the right to sell 10 percent of the land - that is, 1,700 hectares each year - in the first three years, without the consent of the state.

It is not excluded that they sold some hectares during the previous years. According to available data, this company currently owns 14,429 hectares.

3. MK Group

Already in the third place, the competition increases, and the differences decrease. MK Grupa says that, when it comes to farming, they cultivate more than 13,500 hectares of land in Vojvodina. On 1,497 hectares of arable land, he grows vegetables - green beans, peas, sweet corn, potatoes. They have 16.5 hectares of their own vineyards, while 85 hectares are under apples. Insiders claim that they own about 11,000 hectares of land.

Checking according to the available data brought us to less than 10,000 hectares. Most of it is owned by Karneks, about 3,500 hectares. Agropanonija from Kula has a little more than 2,000 hectares. BD Agro owns around 1,100 hectares, and PIK Bečej owns less than 1,000 hectares.

4. Delta Holding

Delta, according to information from the official website, cultivates a total of 15,000 hectares on five agricultural estates. On the one hand, it can be heard that they are the owners of 95 percent of the land, they are allocated 10,000 hectares, and the company's ownership records alone lead to less than 7,000 hectares.

According to available data, Napredak owns about 3,900 hectares. Delta agrar owns a little more than 1,000 hectares. Topola owns a little less than 1,000 hectares.

Delta Agrar says that it is engaged in farming, fruit and vegetable production and animal husbandry, on five agricultural estates it owns, on an area of ​​15,000 hectares.

In the field of cooperation and purchase, the company deals with the purchase of fruits and vegetables, meat and livestock, retail sales and provides multi-year contracting for the production of arable, fruit and vegetable crops with primary producers through five purchase centers.

5. Almex

The serious owner of the land is Almeks from Pancevo, which belongs to Miroslav Aleksa . In recent years, many have put him in the second position of the list of the greatest. According to the data provided by this company in its financial report for 2022, the owners are about 10,000 hectares of land . They cultivate a total of about 15,000 hectares.

Publicly available data brought us to close to 6,500 hectares. The largest number, 2,710, belongs to Almeks. Stari Tamiš covers about 1,440 hectares. Pokrok Padina, a company in which Almex owns 75 percent, owns less than 1,300 hectares. Almeks is known as an importer and distributor of agricultural machinery of well-known brands.

6. Login eco

Hardly anyone missed the news two years ago that a Slovenian married couple, proven in the IT industry, bought a huge piece of land in Vojvodina. It is about Iza and Sam Login . They are known as the creators of the Talking Tom video game. They sold the business for one billion dollars and gave part of the money to the Serbian land.

At that time, there was talk of buying around 4,000 hectares of land in Banat, where they plan to engage in organic production. Their company Login eko, as you can see, today owns 3,600 hectares .

7. Ćorić agrarian

Right next to them is Ćorić agrar. This company from Bashaid states in its financial report for 2022 that they own about 2,000 hectares. The owner of the company is Krsto Ćorić, and the main activity of the company in the beginning was exclusively retail and wholesale trade in agricultural machinery. Over time, the need for agricultural production emerged.

First, agricultural production was started on the leased land, and later it was continued on the land owned by the owner.

The currently available data indicate that it is quite possible that this company has increased its holdings to around 3,300 hectares in the meantime. Ćorić agrar himself owns 1,653 hectares, and Graničar 917 hectares. Kipetrol owns about 700 hectares.

8. Mile Blagojević

Mile Blagojević was the owner of two companies and over them 3,130 hectares of land . His Ratkovo owns 2,000 hectares, but it was deleted in December 2012. It was merged with another company - Čalma.

The agricultural production company Čalma was founded at the very end of 2001. The main activity of the company is the cultivation of grain (except rice), legumes and oilseeds. They own 1,130 hectares.

9. Elite Agrarian and Al Ravafed

In 2019, two Arab companies consolidated. Elite Agrarian was taken over by Al Ravafed. On this occasion, they requested approval from the Commission for the Protection of Competition. From that document, it can be seen that Elit agrar is present through the company Zobnatica, which carries out agricultural activities on an area of ​​1,621 hectares, of which only 114 hectares are owned by the company. Al Ravafed Srbija doo is mainly engaged in the cultivation of wheat, corn, sunflower and soybeans, on a total of about 10,400 hectares, of which 2,586 hectares are its own land.

Available data show that Al Ravader now has 2,625 hectares and Zobnatica 80 hectares.

10. Nicko

The company Nicko (NicCo) owned by Vanja and Irene Nicović, through subsidiaries, is among the significant owners of land in Serbia. According to available data, a total of less than 2,300 hectares are owned by several related companies.

Nicko agrar owns the most - 1,080 hectares. The Belo Blato unit holds about 800 hectares.

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