Germany’s retailer Rewe is reportedly in talks to sell its eight XXL Mega Discount stores in Romania, local Ziarul Financiar reported on April 12 quoting unnamed sources.
Last year Rewe also sold its 86 Billa stores in the country to French retailer Carrefour for around €100mn, though the deal still needs regulatory approval. In 2010, the German retailer sold its Selgros cash and carry store network in an international transaction. In Romania, apart from the XXL Mega Discount network, Rewe still owns the Penny Market chain.
The talks on the sale of the XXL Mega Discount stores are in their early stages, the sources said, adding that France’s Auchan and Carrefour and Belgium’s Delhaize-Ahold are potential buyers.
The eight stores reportedly put up for sale have areas of between 2,500 square metres and 7,500 square metres and are located in medium and large towns.
“Auchan and Carrefour are the retailers with the biggest appetite for acquisitions in Romania. They are competing for the leader position and they can achieve it only through acquisitions. At the same time, we could see an acquisition by Delhaize-Ahold, the owner of Mega Image,” a market source said.
Mega Image is one of the retailers with the fastest expansion in Romania. It owns 472 stores in the country and plans to spend €50mn to open up to 100 stores in 2016.
Retail sales in Romania have been boosted by VAT cuts and hikes in public sector wages and in the minimum salary. In February, retail sales rose 21.8% year-on-year. However, they are expected to ease in the second half of the year and again towards the end of the year on base effects.
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