ITM to form Europe's top food distribution group

28th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

FRANKFURT, April 28 (AFP) - The French distribution giant ITM Entreprises is withdrawing from the German market by selling the wholesaler Spar and the discount supermarket chain Netto to German firm Edeka, Edeka announced on Thursday.

FRANKFURT, April 28 (AFP) - The French distribution giant ITM Entreprises is withdrawing from the German market by selling the wholesaler Spar and the discount supermarket chain Netto to German firm Edeka, Edeka announced on Thursday.  

At the same time, ITM, Edeka and Eroski would join forces to create Europe's biggest food distribution group, Edeka said in a statement.  

Edeka, which has annual sales of just over EUR 31 billion (USD 40 billion) and a workforce of 200,000 worldwide, said it was acquiring all of loss-making Spar-Handels AG, as well as the Netto supermarket chain for an undisclosed sum.  

The deal marks the withdrawal of ITM Entreprises from the German market. It entered the market in 1997 when it acquired Spar.  

Since then, the French giant has unsuccessfully spent around EUR 1 billion trying to turn Spar around.  

Spar, suffering from the ferocious competition of big discounters such as Aldi and Lidl and sluggish consumer demand, booked net loss of EUR 47 million last year.   

With the acquisition of Spar, Edeka will see its sales increase by just under EUR 7 billion to around EUR 38 billion.   

At the same time, ITM, Edeka and Eroski of Spain were "joining forces to create Europe's biggest food distribution group," Edeka said, without providing any further details.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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