The Caravan left: The Auchan Ukraine bought the Caravan chain assets
The Auchan increased its trade point number to 20 facilities throughout Ukraine, having gained control over nine Caravan hypermarkets
The Auchan Ukraine press service reported about this to rau.ua. The Caravan chain purchase will allow the French giant to strengthen its positioning in Ukraine and start developing new store formats, as stated in the press-release. Now the company has 11 hypermarkets in 5 cities — Kiev, Lvov, Odessa, Zaporozhye and Krivoy Rog. The Caravan chain operates 9 hypermarkets in Ukraine, including in those cities where the French retailer is not yet represented: Kharkov, Dnepr, Zhitomir and Chernovtsy. A separate permit was required from the Antimonopoly Ukrainian Committee for the transaction closing.
The sold Caravan
RAU reported for the first time in mid-January this year about the Auchan plans to buy the Caravan chain from the current owners — Sergei Khripkov and Alexei Gordienko. Several market participants and retail real estate specialists were confirmed then the information about the upcoming transaction. The comments were traditionally abstained in the group itself, before the official deal closing. It can now only be guessed about the transaction approximate amount. “The agreement signing between the Auchan Retail Ukraine and the Caravan hypermarkets chain on the assets purchase is the successful negotiations result. This agreement is mutually beneficial for both parties”, — said Alexei Yastremsky, the Caravan chain director.
In pre-crisis years, the owners estimated 50+1% of the Caravan hypermarket chain management company at $120-150 million, but since then the asset has only become cheaper. The large credit load, the decrease in purchasing power and the decline in the Ukrainian economy could not but be reflected, in particular, on the Caravan chain indicators. The group does not publish its financial results, but it is not included in the top-10 country food retailers.
The French offensive
A stagnating chain buying for the Auchan is more than profitable, especially given that it is unlikely that an asset has been requested too much. The French group almost doubled its stores number in Ukraine instantly, entered four new cities markets (including Kharkov and the Dnepr, such densely populated cities). “This is a significant investment in Ukraine, confirming the Auchan Retail Ukraine trust and readiness to continue to restore the country’s economy after difficult years, as well as the desire to provide our clients and employees with a large international distributor benefits,” — said Gerard Halle, the Auchan Retail Ukraine CEO.
The French retailer has significantly risen in the Ukrainian trade chain rating on the total trading square, having received nine hypermarkets management with 58,000 sq. m. total square. Now the group has 20 objects with 160,600 sq. m. total square, which allowed it to enter the 4th position in the top-10 grocery retailers by the total sales square. ATB, Fozzy Group and METRO Cash&Carry Ukraine are only ahead.
The chain expansion, the entry to new markets and loan from IFC attraction confirms the French company intentions seriousness. In addition to the Caravan hypermarkets purchase, it plans to develop a “the stores by the house”-format in Ukraine, and the first object in this format can begin work this year. “This is a standard store near the house, its area can be from 200 “squares”, — explained the Auchan development director Vladimir Strokan’. Perhaps, the loan from IFC part will be channeled for this project implementation. In any case, it can be sure — summer for the Ukrainian chain retailers will be hot.
Info. The Auchan Retail is present in 17 countries and is the 11th-world food products distributor (source — Deloitte), and also is the 35th-employer in the world (source — Fortune). It combines all food products commerce formats, totaling 3,715 sales outlets: the hypermarkets, the supermarkets and the “stores by the house”, enhanced by e-commerce and the drives in some countries.
In Ukraine, under the retailer sign, there are 11 hypermarkets in 5 major cities, as well as e-commerce in Kiev and the region.
The first in Ukraine hypermarket Caravan official opening was held on October 30, 2003. Currently, the hypermarkets Caravan chain has 9 stores, the total square of which is more than 58 000 sq.m., located in Kiev, Kharkov, Dnepr, Chernivtsy and Zhytomyr and it places 3,300 employees.
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