Vendex KBB : sale of six group companies to CVC finalized

The sale of six Vendex KBB companies to the international investment company CVC Capital Partners, announced last May, has now been finalized. The intended transaction was approved by the European competition authorities on July 18 last.

The Central Works Council of Vendex KBB has given a positive opinion. The formal transfer took place on July 31. As of August 1, 2002, the six companies form part of the new CVC organization, Retail Network B.V.

The divested companies are Hans Anders opticians group, Siebel jewelers group, Kijkshop, Perry Sport, Prénatal and Scapino. In consultation with CVC it has been decided not to sell the jewelry format Schaap & Citroen (hitherto part of the Siebel group) owing to important license contracts it holds with international brand suppliers. Schaap & Citroen, which is active at the top end of the jewelry market with eleven outlets and a workforce of over hundred employees, will be continued by Vendex KBB as an independent format. Schaap & Citroen shows a good return on capital investment and is included under Â'other activitiesÂ' in Vendex KBBÂ's financial statements.

Vendex KBB will receive for the divested companies (excluding Schaap & Citroen) approx. 375 million euro (of which 10 million in the form of a deferred loan). The transaction will result in a book profit of approx. 145 million euro.

Retail Network, together with the managements of the six companies taken over, will continue the activities unchanged, with a strong emphasis on growth. The transfer to Retail Network will therefore have no material consequences for the workforce. The six companies together exploit ten retail formats with over 8000 employees, operate nearly a thousand outlets and report net sales of approximately 700 million euro (2001/02).

The sale is in line with Vendex KBBÂ's corporate strategy aimed at streamlining the portfolio of retail formats in order to create the (financial) scope for expansion of a selected number of formats, most of which have international ambitions and have the potential to become players on a European scale.

As a consequence of the sale the structure of Vendex KBB has been substantially simplified in one stroke. The portfolio of retail formats has been reduced to four coherent groups: Department Stores (HEMA; V&D and Bijenkorf), Fashion (M&S Mode, Hunkemöller, Claudia Sträter and America Today), DIY (Praxis, Formido and the recently acquired Brico chain in Belgium) and Consumer Electronics (Dixons, Dynabyte, ItÂ's and Modern Electronics).

(source: Vendex KBB)

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