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Shelf-stocking companies merge to take control of 35%-40% of market

POP Kft and the merchandising unit of Rafinanz Service Kft, which together control 35%-40% of Hungary's hypermarket shelf-stocking market, have merged, the two companies announced on Thursday.

POP controls 25% of the shelf-stocking market and Rafinanz controls 10%-15%, said POP head Norbert Árvay. He added that the merger is intended to stabilize the market for the two companies.
Árvay said the merger was carried out by POP acquiring Rafinanz's shelf-stocking unit. At the same time, Rafinanz purchased POP's logistics and promotions unit. He declined to reveal the price of the transaction. The merged company is wholly owned by Hungarian investors.
POP, set up in 1997, had revenue of Ft 2 billion last year. Rafinanz, established in 1999, had revenue of Ft 850 million. As a result of the merger, the companies plan to set up Hungary's first modern warehouse devoted exclusively to marketing materials on the edge of Budapest. The Ft 1 billion, 7,000-square-meter warehouse is to be completed by the first half of 2007. The companies plan to pay for the investment with their own resources. The warehouse is expected to create 30 jobs.