Duesseldorf, 25 November 2014. METRO GROUP drives ahead with the earnings-oriented focus of its international cash & carry-activities. As communicated by the Düsseldorf-based retail group today, its Greek wholesale subsidiary MAKRO Cash & Carry is to be divested to the local retail group Sklavenitis.The transaction covers the complete operational business of MAKRO Greece including nine wholesale stores and the relevant real estate portfolio for an enterprise value of €65 million. METRO GROUP expects this deal to yield a neutral EBIT effect for financial year 2014/2015.
"With Sklavenitis, we found the perfect partner for our Greek cash & carry business", said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG and CEO of METRO Cash & Carry. "Sklavenitis is already very well positioned in Greece and can leverage economies of scale and synergies with MAKRO which we would not have been able to achieve on our own. At the same time, with this transaction we are continuing on our adopted course of focusing on those countries where we have a critical mass and a relevant market position on the basis of which we can develop a long-term growth perspective for our business. In Greece, we would unfortunately not have been able to do so on our own in the years to come. Under the lead of Sklavenitis, new perspectives will open up for MAKRO and we are therefore convinced that we are placing our Greek business and its employees into very good hands."
"The well-established network of MAKRO Cash & Carry alongside the expertise of Sklavenitis in the Greek market set the ground for a robust course. With the addition of MAKRO Cash & Carry, we further expand our business by entering the wholesale market in Greece", said Gerasimos Sklavenitis, CEO of Sklavenitis S.A.
The transaction will in addition enable METRO GROUP to invest into its future growth and also further strengthen its balance sheet. "We will continue to invest into the focus and expansion countries of METRO Cash & Carry, but also into strategically important, customer-oriented projects like the multi-channel business and thereby secure our long-term growth", stressed Olaf Koch.
METRO GROUP started its wholesale business in Greece back in the year 1992 and meanwhile operates nine wholesale stores with around 1,000 employees across the country. The national subsidiary generated sales of €301 million in the pro forma financial year 2012/13. With the acquisition of MAKRO Cash & Carry Greece, Sklavenitis plans to make an inroad into the wholesale business and thereby extend its present portfolio of around 110 retail locations.
The divestment is subject to merger-control clearance. The transaction is expected to be completed by the first half of 2015.