Mercator, the country’s largest food retailer, has abandoned its plans to buy local rival Merkur due to issues with Merkur’s creditors.

Last month Mercator signed a letter of intent to buy Merkur’s retail network, but Merkur’s bank creditors decided against the sale of any part of the company.

Merkur, which has outlets in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia, ran into financial problems last year when its sales fell 15% during the economic crisis.