Polish Enterprise Fund VII (PEF VI), a private equity fund managed by Enterprise Investors (EI), is reportedly expecting non-binding bids for Romanian supermarket chain Profi by the end of September, unnamed market sources said on September 12.
PEF VI acquired 100% of Profi for €66mn in 2009 and made a €10mn follow-on investment in 2011. Since the initial transaction, Profi has increased its network at a fast pace, and the Polish fund reportedly expects to get €450mn-€500mn when it exits the supermarket chain.
PEF VI announced in May it “plans to explore the strategic options available to Romania’s leading supermarket chain, Profi.” Local media had been long speculating that the Polish equity fund would seek to exit the shareholding of the Romanian retail chain.
The private equity firm has hired Citi to deal with the sale. Non-binding bids should be submitted by the end of the month, whereas binding bids should be filed by the end of the year, the sources told Romanian daily Ziarul Financiar. The sale is expected to be completed in the first half of next year. Investment fund CVC Capital, Polish group Biedronka, a Turkish group and a group from the Baltic region are reportedly looking at the Romanian supermarket chain.
Profi operates a network of more than 400 stores in Romania and has the widest geographical coverage in the country, opening 93 stores in 2015 alone. It has recently developed the Loco format targeting rural parts of the country. In 2015 Profi recorded €565mn in revenue and employs around 10,000 people.
In April, PEF VI signed an agreement to acquire 100% of shares in Noriel Group, the largest toy and game distribution firm and retailer in Romania. EI will provide €2mn funding to support further development.
EI is one of the largest private equity firms in Central and Eastern Europe.
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