The recently announced takeover of Real hypermarkets in Central and Eastern Europe by the Auchan Group is facing a slight drawback as the fate of four Romanian stores formerly owned by the Metro Group is yet to be decided.
“In Romania, Auchan is only going to take over the operation of 20 out of the 24 existing stores. The hypermarkets in Arad, Constanta Nord, Oradea Bihor Archbishopric and Suceava will not be taken over by Groupe Auchan,” according to Real. “Real,- Romania is now making all efforts towards finding the right solution for each of these locations as soon as possible”, concludes the press release.
The sale process, with an overall estimated value of EUR 1.1 billion , is still in progress, and it covers 91 Real hypermarkets in Poland, Russia, Romania and Ukraine. The Romanian segment of the deal, worth around EUR 250 million according to estimations, still needs the approval of the responsible authorities. Until the expected completion date in 2013, all 24 Real- hypermarkets in Romania are to continue business as usual. A re-branding of these stores under the Auchan name will mark the final stage of the takeover process.
This deal brings together massive expected sales and workforce counts. Real reeled in EUR 2.6 billion of sales in 2011 and employed 20,000 people in the four countries. Auchan, on the other hand, boasts triple the workforce and a 98-hypermarket chain in the area.
In Romania, Real reported EUR 627 million sales in 2011, while Auchan’s performance ranked slightly lower, with EUR 411 million cashed in the same year.
Via the upcoming addition of 20 more stores to its already existing 10 Romanian locations and following the acquisition of Cora Hungary earlier this year, Auchan is riding high on a wave of expansion in the region, fueled by an investment program set to run until 2015.
Ioana Jelea, firstname.lastname@example.org
(photo source: Real)