Colruyt confirms Laurus acquisition

Related tags Netherlands Sales Dutch people Laurus

Colruyt is to buy part of the loss-making Belgian operations of
Dutch retailer Laurus for an undisclosed sum, including the Spar
franchise business. Laurus is still negotiating the sale of its
other Belgian units.

Laurus, the Dutch retail group in which France's Casino group has a substantial stake, has continued to sell off its non-core operations in a bid to drag itself back into the black.

After the recent disposal of its Spanish business El Arbol to investment firm CVC Partners, it is now the turn of its Belgian operations, which are to be bought by the Colruyt group for an undisclosed sum.

The two companies announced in January that they were discussing the possibility of a sale of the Belgian business, and yesterday the two companies confirmed that a deal had finally been reached, although financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the agreement, Laurus will sell its 21 Battard stores, four A-Cash stores and five Central Cash outlets to Colruyt, along with a number of franchises under the Spar fascia. The deal also includes a Spar distribution centre at Heist-op-den-Berg and another distribution centre and administrative centre at Pommeroeul.

The deal is expected to be completed at the end of April following approval from the Belgian Competition Authority.

Colruyt said that the deal would allow it to expand its own fascia by converting the Battard and Central Cash shops to its own banner, as well as giving it a major foothold in the independent sector through the development and expansion of the Spar formula. The integration of Battard's distribution centre with Colruyt's logistic network will also create important synergies.

Laurus is also reported to be in talks with other retailers over the future of its remaining Belgian business. Press reports suggest that these companies are Distribution Alimentaire Discount Belge and Delfipar, and that the negotiations concern 11 other Central Cash stores and 10 remaining Battard outlets.

Ahold sale

Meanwhile, the Netherlands' leading food retail group, Ahold, has also announced plans to sell one of its foreign operations, the Santa Isabel chain in Chile. Ahold's profits have been badly hit by the crisis in Latin America, and the company late last year announced plans to sell off a number of its non-core businesses.

Ahold said it would retain control of the Peruvian and Paraguayan Santa Isabel operations, but that it wanted to find a suitable buyer for the 77 stores operating under the banner in Chile. Ahold said that it valued the Chilean business at around $150 million.

Related topics Market trends

Related news

Follow us


View more