• Germany edition
 
Retailer Metro sells eastern unit for €1.1 bln
Photo: DPA

Retailer Metro sells eastern unit for €1.1 bln

Published: 30 Nov 2012 15:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Nov 2012 15:25 GMT+01:00

Under an agreement signed by both sides on Friday, the French retailer would "take over the operational activities and real estate assets of Real in Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine," the two companies said in separate statements.

The deal still needed to be approved by the competition authorities and would likely be completed next year, the companies said.

The agreement covers 91 hypermarkets in the Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine, where Real generated sales of €2.6 billion in 2011 and employs a workforce of 20,000.

"With Auchan, we found the most suitable buyer for Real's business activities in Eastern Europe," said Metro chief executive Olaf Koch. "Real is already very well positioned in these countries and has great growth opportunities. Auchan offers good development perspectives for the Real hypermarkets and their employees," Koch said.

Metro said that since Auchan has no operations in Turkey and wanted to solely strengthen its already existing activities in Eastern Europe, the German group would hold on to Real's operations in Turkey and in Germany.

Real's Turkish operations "have developed very nicely in recent years and show great growth potential," Koch said.

And Real Germany "forms an integral part of the portfolio of Metro Group," he continued.

"We are convinced of the potential inherent in the hypermarket business in Germany. In collaboration with the management of Real we are currently working on an action plan to leverage the existing earnings potential and to increase profitability," Koch said.

Auchan chief Vianney Mulliez said the purchase will provide the French group with the opportunity "to balance its presence in Central and Eastern Europe, its two other priority development zones being Western Europe and Asia."

Metro shares were trading higher on the mid-cap MDAX index on the Frankfurt stock exchange, where they were showing a gain of 1.34 percent in a slightly firmer market.

Last month, Metro unveiled a 60-percent drop in third-quarter profits after already slashing its earnings forecast in face of the debt crisis. The drop in earnings reflected the impact of the general economic situation in southern Europe and parts of eastern Europe and the debt crisis would continue to weigh on earnings for the foreseeable future, the company warned.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:51 November 30, 2012 by raandy
"take over the operational activities and real estate assets of Real in Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine," the two companies said in separate statements.

What were these guys smoking??
Today's headlines
Germany has just ten Ebola beds
Photo: DPA

Germany has just ten Ebola beds

Doctors at high-level infectious disease clinics say that caring for patients with the Ebola virus is much more intensive than they first thought, meaning they can handle fewer cases at once. READ  

Refugee Crisis
Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees
A refugee protests on the roof of the former Gerhart Hauptmann School in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees

Berlin has turned to huge tents and shipping containers to shelter growing numbers of refugees. With winter approaching, city politicians have called on the federal government for help. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 11
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 11

UPDATE: One person has died and at least 11 others are injured after a huge explosion in western Germany on Thursday. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse. READ  

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes
Photo: DPA

Greenpeace finds danger in kids clothes

Research released on Thursday by environmental group Greenpeace showed that more than half of clothing sold by German discount brands contain chemicals known to be dangerous to health and the environment, with items from Aldi being the worst offenders. READ  

Woman sues for accidental pot raid
Photo: DPA

Woman sues for accidental pot raid

A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement. READ  

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants
Photo: DPA

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants

Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy. READ  

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine
Hamburg's UKE has helped lead the fight against Ebola. Photo: DPA

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine

Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening. READ  

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend
Jacob Lew and Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said. READ  

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,523
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd