• Germany's news in English

Retailer Metro sells eastern unit for €1.1 bln

The Local · 30 Nov 2012, 15:25

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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."

Story continues below…

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.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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
Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

The Local List
Germany's top 10 most surreal sites to visit
The Upside-Down House, in Mecklenburg–Western Pomerania. Photo: Olaf Meister / Wikimedia Commons

From upside-down houses on Baltic islands to a fairy-tale castle near the Austrian border, Germany is a treasure trove of the extraordinary.

Bavarian critics back Merkel for Chancellor again
Photo: DPA

The Christian Social Union (CSU) have long delayed backing Angela Merkel as their candidate for Chancellor in next year's general election. But now key leaders are supporting her publicly.

Four taken to hospital after hotel toilet bursts into flames
File photo: DPA.

Four guests at a Nuremberg hotel were taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation early Monday morning after a toilet there burst into flames.

Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German towns, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd