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Delhaize to acquire 14 supermarkets in Romania

Belgian supermarket group Delhaize said on Monday it had entered an agreement to acquire 14 supermarkets in Romania’s capital Bucharest.

The purchase price for the holding company of the supermarkets is €18.6 million ($29.4 million). Delhaize said the acquisition would allow its subsidiary Mega Image to strengthen its position in Bucharest. The acquisition is subject to clearance by the Romanian antitrust authorities and is expected to close in the Q2 of 2008.

John Kyritsis, General Manager of Mega Image, commented: “This transaction fits perfectly into Mega Image’s strategy of growing via well-located stores in urban areas. The 14 La Fourmi stores will strengthen our store network. We also expect sizable sales opportunities and buying synergies from this acquisition.” In 2005, Global Finance, a Greek private equity fund, took an 80% stake in La Fourmi. This stake was then further raised to the level of approximately 90%. The remaining 10% belonged to private investors. The purchase price for 100% ownership of La Fourmi is €8.6 million, subject to contractual adjustments. The acquisition includes real estate ownership of four stores.

La Fourmi was the first supermarket chain to open in Bucharest in 1992. For 2007, it is estimated that the revenues of the 14 acquired stores amount to approximately €30 million ($47.3 million). The 14 stores, which have a size of 350 to 500 square meters, will be converted to Mega Image supermarkets. Thanks to the proximity of the acquired stores within Bucharest, Mega Image’s existing distribution center will be used to serve those stores. (Reuters, Marketwire)