A box of Kraš confections (Matija Habljak/PIXSELL) A box of Kraš confections (Matija Habljak/PIXSELL)

Under the agreement, Kraš ESOP sold Braća Pivac 18.44% of shares in Kraš for 238.1 million kuna, giving MI Braća Pivac a 49.4% stake in Croatia's largest confectioner.

Braća Pivac have agreed to make further investments in Kraš, protect the rights of Kraš employees, and maintain existing production plants.

Braća Pivac CEO, Ivica Pivac was quoted in the statement as saying that the group sees Kraš as one of the up-and-coming producing companies in Croatia and that the new owner would like to advance the production of the sweets manufacturer.

“We hope to do all that we can to make Kraš even better than it is today. That's a guarantee we can back up with all that we've done in our business. Every company that we have taken over has become significantly stronger than before it came under our ownership,” Pivac told HRT.

The move has fended off a takeover by Kappa Star Limited, a Cyprus-based company owned by Serbian business magnate Nebojša Šaranović.

Kraš makes some of Croatia’s most popular sweets like the chocolate bon-bons Bajadera and Griotte, the Dorina range of chocolates, and the cookies Napolitanke, to name a few.

The acquisition makes the Pivac group one of the biggest food producing companies in southeast Europe with around 5,000 employees.