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Weekly Round-Up ... 28 November 2023

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Round-Up ... 28 November 2023

French supermarket group Casino has received expressions of interest for its hypermarket and supermarket stores, the company noted, declining to name the bidders or the number of stores that it intends to sell. Casino has been preparing to sell more supermarkets to Intermarché, a unit of Groupement Les Mousquetaires, or even put its remaining stores up for sale to the highest bidder, French daily Les Echos reported on Monday. The group has already received expressions of interest for its remaining 291 supermarkets, including 60 franchises, and 52 large-scale hypermarkets, the newspaper noted. Candidates must submit their offer by Wednesday, Les Echos noted. France’s sixth-largest retailer has been building back its business after securing an October deal to avert bankruptcy through a debt restructuring with its main creditors, led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky. In a statement on Monday, Casino noted that any disposal must be approved by the consortium, in accordance with the lock-up agreement reached on 5 October. The group is facing the consequences of years of debt-fuelled deals that, after recent losses in market share and revenue declines, have put it on the verge of bankruptcy.

Polish retailer Biedronka has opened its 3,500th outlet, with the latest store opening in Skórzewo, near Poznań. The group, which is owned by Portugal’s Jerónimo Martins, noted that the store was developed in line with the chain’s ‘sustainable development’ strategy, and has been equipped with electronic price-labelling – the first outlet in the group’s portfolio to feature this, reports In addition, LED lighting has been used, along with CO2 refrigeration solutions, in order to enhance the sustainability credentials of the store. It has also been equipped with photovoltaic panels, with the car park featuring a charging point for electric vehicles, which can recharge a car in approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Among the features available to shoppers are a wide variety of meat and cheese, a bread slicer, and extensive zones for fresh produce, bakery, and personal care. “We are proud that we can announce the opening of the 3,500th Biedronka store this year,” commented Paweł Stolecki, operational director and member of the management board of the Biedronka chain.

Russian retailer Magnit has purchased an additional block of shares from foreign shareholders, completing a buy-back worth around $736 million that has given Western investors a chance to recoup some assets stranded in Russia. Magnit bought back outstanding shares worth around 48.5 billion RUB ($540.6 million) in September, but held an additional tender offer of 7,899,569 shares, equating to approximately 7.8% of all those issued, to give more investors the opportunity to exit Russian asset holdings. The overall offer represented the first opportunity for non-resident shareholders of a Russian public company to dispose of their shareholdings with settlement in different currencies since sweeping Western sanctions imposed over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent Russian countermeasures restricted the flow of capital. ‘Over 300 investors from 25 countries participated in the transactions, including long-term active management funds, passive index funds/ETFs, hedge funds, pension and sovereign wealth funds, family offices and individual investors,’ Magnit noted in a statement.

Read More: Weekly Round-Up ... 21 November 2023


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