CVC Capital Partners agrees to buy Zabka Polska

By bne IntelliNews February 21, 2017

Private equity fund CVC Capital Partners announced on February 21 that it has agreed to buy Polish convenience store chain Zabka Polska.

Mid Europa Partners had been looking to offload Zabka since late 2016. The value of the deal has not been revealed, but speculation suggests the price is around PLN5bn (€1.2bn). Banks ING, Pekao and UniCredit will provide financing.

A number of funds were reported to be interested in the deal. CVC is understoof to have beat competition from players including Warburg Pincus, Advent International, and Apax.

The deal is just the latest large private equity transaction on the Polish market in recent months illustrating the interest in the Polish consumer. In October, a consortium of PE funds bought online retailer Allegro from South Africa's Naspers for over $3.2bn (€3bn).

"[It is] our second direct investment in Poland, demonstrating our long-term commitment to the country and the Central European region. With our office and local team in Warsaw and CVC’s global reach we are best placed to support CVC Funds' portfolio companies in Poland,” CVC’s Partner and Head of CEE Istvan Szoke said in a statement.

CVC’s first deal in Poland was a controversial buy of Polish railway group PKP’s energy unit PKP Energetyka in 2015, which the Law and Justice (PiS) government - in oppoisition at the time - claimed was compromising to Poland’s energy security.

Zabka was founded in 1998 and has grown to be one of the leaders in the convenience retail segment in Poland, with around 4,500 stores in operation across the country.

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