SPAR to Take Over Billa Stores in Croatia

Total Croatia News

SPAR will take over 62 locations.

Spar Austria continues to expand in Croatia and it has decided to take over from REWE Group 62 Billa stores, together with a logistics centre at Sveta Helena, announced Spar Croatia on Friday, adding that it could not disclose the price, reports Novi List on December 16, 2016.

The acquisition was completed on 15 December, while the takeover will be implemented after an approval is received from the Croatian Competition Agency (AZTN), added SPAR. With this acquisition, SPAR will operate more than 100 retail outlets in Croatia. Together with the retail stores, it will take over all 1,900 employees of Billa in Croatia. Billa stores have sales area generally between 500 and 1,500 square metres and are located around Croatia.

“In Croatia, we have been operating since 2005. With this transaction, the owners of SPAR Croatia have once again confirmed that they believe in the potential and further development of the country. We are happy that, with Billa stores and our new colleagues and employees, we will have the opportunity to further strengthen our position in the market”, said CEO of SPAR Croatia Helmut Fenzl.

SPAR Croatia is 100 percent owned by SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels. It currently operates at 19 hypermarkets and 38 supermarkets, and employs nearly 3,000 workers.

REWE International also issued a statement confirming that they had signed a contract with SPAR Austria about the sale of Billa Croatia, adding that details of the contract will remain confidential. They added that the takeover would be carried out in the form of a share deal, assuming approval of the Croatian Competition Agency.

REWE International pointed out that in Croatia they would continue to concentrate on the further development of BIPA, which currently has around 90 stores in Croatia with approximately 500 employees. The expansion will continue in the coming years.

“Our strategic objective in countries where our stores are present is to achieve the leading market position. Despite targeted investments, in the past we were not able to achieve that in Croatia, and according to our current assessment that will not be feasible in the foreseeable future as well”, explained Frank Hensel, chairman of the board of directors of REWE International.

“For that reason, we have decided to withdraw from retail of food products in Croatia. We remain focused on BIPA drugstores, which we will continue to gradually expand”, concluded Hensel.


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