Koninklijke Ahold N.V., the international food retailer and foodservice operator, today announced its wholly-owned Polish subsidiary Ahold Polska Sp.z o.o. have reached agreement in principle to acquire five hypermarkets from JerÃ³nimo Martins Sp.z o.o. A transaction sum of approximately Euro 20 million is involved.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be finalized in the 4th quarter of 2002.
JerÃ³nimo Martins SGPS, S.A., Aholdâ€™s joint venture partner in Portugal, operates five â€˜Jumboâ€™ hypermarkets on the outskirts and in residential areas of the densely-populated cities of Poznan, Lodz and Bydgoszcz in Central Poland. The stores generate combined annualized sales of approximately Euro 75 million. The five hypermarkets were built between 1996 and 2000, and the largest has an average selling space of 78,000 sq.ft. (approximately 7,800 sq.m.).
Remarks by Jan Andreae, Ahold Board member
â€˜We are delighted to be able to add these popular Jumbo hypermarkets to our current store portfolio in Poland,â€™ said Jan Andreae, member of the Ahold Corporate Executive Board responsible for European operations. â€˜Despite a challenging and competitive retail environment, we are achieving solid organic sales growth coupled with an ambitious store opening program. Taking over these Polish stores from our partner in Portugal enables us to offer a full range of food products and general merchandise to more local customers. It also boosts our presence and position in an important market for us with significant long-term potential.â€™
Ahold in Poland
Ahold entered the fragmented Polish market in 1995 and has been gradually building critical mass in this Central European country of 40 million people. Ahold Polska saw 2001 sales surge 41% to Euro 553 million (2000: Euro 393 million) and now operates approximately 180 stores including about 150 full-service â€˜Albertâ€™ supermarkets and discount food outlets. Ahold will operate 26 â€˜Hypernovaâ€™ hypermarkets in Poland following completion of the transaction and conversion of the five Jumbo stores.