In Romania, the stores in Arad, Constanta North, Oradea Episcopia Bihorului and Suceava will not be taken over by French retailer.
At the end of last week, Groupe Auchan signed an agreement with the German retailer METRO GROUP about the divestment of real’s business in Central and Eastern Europe for EUR 1.1 billion. Groupe Auchan will take over the operational activities and the respective real estate assets of the METRO GROUP subsidiary in Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.According to a press release of the German retailer, the stores in Arad, Constanta North, Oradea Episcopia Bihorului and Suceava will not be taken over by Groupe Auchan. “real,- Romania will now search for a sound solution for each of these locations as quickly as possible. (…) During the transition period all real,- stores will operate on regular opening hours concentrating to best serve its customers with the same high standards of quality and prices as ever. The employees were personally informed of this new development today (editor’s note yesterday) by real,- Romania. The METRO GROUP will in turn focus more strongly on METRO Cash & Carry in Romania.”, the document shows. The agreement still requires approval by the relevant antitrust authorities. Subject to this approval, the operation will be completed in 2013.In the future, the Real hypermarkets in Central and Eastern Europe will operate under the Auchan brand.The sale of real Eastern Europe to Groupe Auchan comprises 91 real hypermarkets in Poland, Russia, Romania and Ukraine, including 13 shopping mall locations in Russia and Romania. In these four countries, real has reached sales of more than EUR 2.6 billion in 2011 and has a workforce of around 20,000 employees. Vianney Mulliez, chairman of the Board of Directors of Groupe Auchan, considers that “with the purchase of 91 high-quality stores and 13 shopping malls, Groupe Auchan takes the opportunity to balance its presence in Central and Eastern Europe, its two other priority development zones being Western Europe and Asia. It is also an opportunity to offer an even better service to our customers, with very professional teams, both in Real and Auchan, that we fully trust.”“With Auchan, we found the most suitable buyer for real’s business activities in Eastern Europe.”, said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG.