Take-over Leroy Merlin DIY chain in Belgium finalized

The take-over of the Belgian DIY-activities of Leroy Merlin â€" announced in February â€" has been
finalized. The competition authorities have given their approval to the acquisition. The workers
councils involved have already advised positively on the transaction. The transfer of shares and the
payment of the purchase price will take place soon.

The activities of Leroy Merlin in Belgium consist of six DIY markets with garden center, three of which are wholly owned. The DIY markets each cover an area of approximately 9,000 m² (of which 6,000 m² indoors) and are situated in Brussels (Anderlecht), Bruges, Liege, Messancy (near Luxembourg), Chatelineau and La Louvière (near Charleroi). The six outlets account for consumer sales of circa € 135 million (fiscal year 2002). The Belgian Leroy Merlin business has a workforce of some 600 employees. Vendex KBB has paid circa € 65 million for the chain (of which circa € 17 million for real estate). The acquisition makes a direct contribution to Vendex KBB´s net income.

The take-over is in line with Vendex KBB´s strategy to expand its DIY operations internationally. A first step in this direction was taken last year with the takeover of the Belgian Brico chain (consumer sales for the fiscal year 2002/03 circa € 480 million). This made Vendex KBB one of the largest DIY players in the Benelux. With the addition of the six Leroy Merlin outlets sales in Belgium increases by nearly 30%.

In the Netherlands the Group exploits two DIY chains, Praxis and Formido, which together have more than 200 outlets. The Belgian Brico format has around 100 outlets. Partly as a result of the Brico takeover the net sales figure of Vendex KBB´s DIY group rose in the fiscal year 2002/03 from € 737 million to € 1,066 million and the operating retail income rose by 37 % to € 78 million. The number of employees rose from some 2,600 to more than 4,200. The Dutch and Belgian DIY activities were combined last year in the Vendex KBB DIY Group, with the individual activities keeping their own managements, format name and commercial independence. This joining of forces
is aimed in particular at securing purchasing advantages.

Source: Royal Vendex KBB N.V.

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