Russia's Sberbank increases share in Fortenova Group to around 44%
Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, said it had increased its stake in Fortenova Group to around 44% by swapping its shares in Slovenian food retailer Mercator. In the cash-free transaction, Sberbank raised its stake in Fortenova Group, which operates in retail, food production and agriculture in southern Europe, by 4%, bringing it to 44%, the bank said. It said it had used its put option on its 18.5% stake in Mercator to complete the transaction.
Lidl records 12% turnover increase in Luxembourg in 2020
Pandemic restrictions have turned the retail sector on its head, low-cost supermarket chain Lidl has said, announcing a 12% increase in turnover for 2020. “A year ago, customers flocked to supermarket shelves because of growing concerns and uncertainties resulting from the health situation and a looming lockdown”, the chain wrote in a press release. Looking back on the past year, it observed a decline in footfall but an increase in sales. Customers bought 30% more fruit and vegetables with the star product being the banana - the company sold more than 790,000kg in 2020. Strongest sales per item were also reported for broccoli (+40%), avocado (+35%) and cucumber (+25%).
UK: Deliveroo dives 30% as debut of the decade turns torrid
Shares in Deliveroo plunged by as much as 30% in their trading debut, slicing more than 2bln pounds off the company’s valuation in a blow to the food delivery group and the London market for initial public offerings (IPO). The highly-anticipated listing, the biggest in the London market in a decade, had been hailed by British finance minister Rishi Sunak as a “true British tech success story” that could clear the way for more IPOs by fast-growing technology companies.
Germany: Basic AG acquires biomammut stores in Baden-Württemberg
German organic supermarket chain Basic AG has acquired 6 biomammut stores in Baden-Württemberg. The company has described the move as 'a first milestone' in its strategic expansion plan. At the beginning of this year, Basic AG announced plans to expand its business in southern Germany and neighbouring countries.
AliExpress Russia acquires 30% stake in KazanExpress
AliExpress Russia has invested in KazanExpress, a major regional ecommerce company from Russia, by acquiring a 30% stake. KazanExpress was founded 5 ears ago, but is growing extremely fast recently. It’s unclear how much money was involved with the transaction, but KazanExpress’ co-owner Linar Khusnullin speaks of ‘several billions of rubles’ (dozens of millions of euros). According to East-West Digital News, the company is currently investing in logistics to expands its 24-hour delivery. It also wants to reach three quarters of online consumers in Russia by covering 127 cities in the European part of the country.
France: Groupe Casino confirms success of debt refinancing transaction
Groupe Casino has announced the success of its debt refinancing transaction, which was launched on 22 March. The transaction includes a new Term Loan B Facility of €1bln, with maturity in August 2025 and interest rate Euribor + 4.0%, with the same securities as the existing Term Loan B Facility, as well as a a new senior unsecured bond of €525mln, with maturity in April 2027 and coupon of 5.25%.
Emart, Lotte, SKT, MBK make short list for eBay Korea in $4.4bln deal
Emart Inc., Lotte Shopping Co., SK Telecom Co., and MBK Partners, each big in their fields of retail, wireless network and private equity capital, have been shortlisted to vie for eBay Korea LLC, third largest ecommerce player in South Korea with Gmarket, Auction, and G9 under it arm worth up to 5tln won ($4.4bln). According to multiple sources from the retail and investment bank industry, eBay Korea’s lead sales managers Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs separately informed the contenders that they have made the short list. SK Telecom was the first among the 4 to be notified, followed by Lotte Shopping, Emart, and local private equity fund MBK Partners.
Slovenia: SPAR names new general manager, marks 30 years
SPAR Slovenia has named David Kovačič as its new general manager, as the business marks its 30th year of operations in the country. Despite a difficult period marketed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the retailer closed 2020 with a gross turnover of €909mln, up 8.9% on the previous year.
Japan's retail sales fall for third straight month
Japanese retail sales fell for the third straight month in February as households kept a lid on expenditure amid the coronavirus emergency, underscoring the fragile nature of the economy’s recovery from last year’s slump. Retail sales lost 1.5% in February from a year earlier, government data showed, a smaller fall than the median market forecast for a 2.8% drop.
Amazon expands Prime Now partnerships in Europe
Amazon is expanding Prime Now to Frankfurt and the surrounding areas in partnership with Migros-owned Tegut. The offer includes more than 8,000 products from Tegut’s range including fresh, chilled and frozen items, organic, regional and sustainable foods, beverages, pharmacy and pet food. Amazon is also expanding its grocery delivery service in Spain to Zaragoza and surrounding areas, in partnership with DIA. Prime members can choose from a range of 5,500 DIA brand products in addition to products from major and local brands. The range includes fruit and vegetables, chilled, beauty and personal care, and pet products.
H Mart plans micro-fulfillment center to fuel online grocery
Asian-American supermarket chain H Mart has tapped robotics specialist AutoStore to power a micro-fulfillment center (MFC) to process online grocery orders. Norway-based AutoStore said that it’s working with integrator Bastian Solutions to develop a fully automated MFC to support H Mart’s online grocery operations in Carlstadt, New Jersey. Like other retailers during the pandemic, H Mart has seen a surge in online grocery ordering and aims to increase capacity.
US: Albertsons Companies and Google partner to reinvent the future of grocery shopping
Albertsons Companies and Google announced a multi-year partnership to make shopping easier and more convenient for millions of customers nationwide. The partnership brings together the power of Albertsons Cos.’ broad reach across 2,253 neighborhoods with Google’s capabilities in customer-centric innovation, creating a formidable nexus of retail savvy and trend-setting technology on a massive, omnichannel scale.