SCP Group has entered into an agreement with METRO AG to acquire 100% of Real supermarket portfolio. Pursuant to this agreement, SCP Group will become the sole owner of Real’s stationary retail business (276 stores), the digital business including the online marketplace real.de, 80 real estate properties and all of Real’s affiliated companies. All of the approximately 34,000 Real employees will be taken over with their current contracts under existing conditions. SCP Group will be responsible for managing Real’s businesses and will rely on its strategic partner x+bricks Group to jointly oversee the repositioning of the real estate portfolio.
METRO expects a net cash inflow of around €0.3bn following the closing of the transaction. The completion of the sale is subject to the approval of the responsible regulatory and competition authorities. After closing of the transaction, SCP Group, together with x+bricks Group will start a process defining viable concepts for the future of all Real locations. The majority of Real stores shall be sold to other German retailers in separate transactions, subject to approval by the relevant antitrust authorities, or partially be divided into smaller areas for alternative uses. Additionally, it is planned to 2 - 4 continue to operate a core of 50 stores under the Real banner for 24 months. For each location, the new owner will examine potential options. Only if neither a continued operation nor operation by other retailers prove to be viable concepts, a closure of the respective location cannot be ruled out. SCP Group assumes that the number of sites, including the core as described above, to be closed will be approximately 30. SCP Group plans to resell Real's digital business.
Olaf Koch, CEO of METRO AG, commented on the transaction: “I would like to thank the Real management and employees for their enormous commitment during the many years as part of METRO, but especially since the start of the divestiture process. With its stationary market hall concept (Markthalle), the extremely successful online marketplace real.de and a fully automated convenience store concept (Emmas Enkel), amongst others, Real has developed promising business models, thereby demonstrating its innovative capability. It is important to us that the majority of today’s Real stores will continue to be operated in some form in the future. Thereby, many of the experienced and qualified Real employees will have good prospects of continuing their employment going forward. Further, all employees have additional security through a works council agreement jointly concluded with the General Works Council. Our partners SCP Group and x+bricks Group have the necessary experience and network to ensure that remarketing of Real stores is economically viable and in the best 3 - 4 interest of all employees. On METRO's way to becoming a pure wholesaler, the divestment of Real represents the last major portfolio transaction following the sale of Galeria Kaufhof and the demerger of MediaMarkt and Saturn. Now, METRO can fully concentrate on its core business.”
Marjorie Brabet-Friel, CEO of SCP Group, commented: “Today, we have achieved an important milestone that will provide Real locations with the best available economically viable concept for the future. SCP Group and x+bricks Group combine a highly dedicated team with high retail and real estate expertise, the necessary funds as well as a long-term vision for Real and its locations. We are confident to find good individual solutions for most locations depending on local conditions. The future of the real employees is important to us and we will try to avoid store closures and lay-offs as far as possible. However, our approach will depend on the joint commitment from all interested parties. This will require a constructive dialogue with everyone involved: employees, local politicians, and owners of the Real retail properties – and of course, works for councils and trade unions. Therefore, we will use the upcoming weeks and months to enter into hopefully fruitful discussions with all relevant parties.”