Metro and bidder agree on real sale with investor

Metro has been looking for a buyer for its real supermarkets for months. Now the deal is about to be signed – but not all points have been resolved.

The retail group Metro has basically agreed with a consortium around the real estate investor X-Bricks on the sale of its ailing supermarket chain Real. Metro announced this on Tuesday night. However, individual open issues would still be negotiated. A purchase contract has not yet been signed.

The agreement provides for Real to be sold as a whole at an enterprise value of approximately one billion euros, the release said. The Metro Group, the current owner of Real, expects a net cash inflow of around 300 million euros and continues to generate more than 1.5 billion euros net cash inflows after all transaction costs from the sale and sale of a majority stake in the Chinese business.

In addition, Metro’s service companies will continue to provide services for Real for a transition period. However, these would gradually be reduced.

Many Real locations are to become Edeka and Kaufland markets

The supermarket chain with 277 real stores across Germany and around 34,000 employees is in danger of being broken up. Because the future owners want to continue operating only a small part of the real markets themselves according to the plans that have become known so far.

The majority of the locations are to be sold to other dealers such as Edeka or Kaufland. Some locations are also threatened with closure. The supermarket chain was most recently the problem child at the metro and had caused deep red numbers at the metro in the 2018/19 financial year.

The deal is pending final approval

The Metro had already announced in 2018 that it would sell the supermarket chain in order to be able to concentrate entirely on the wholesale business with restaurateurs and small retailers. But the sales process turned out to be much more difficult than expected. At first, the metro had high hopes in the negotiations with the real estate investor Redos, but the talks failed.

In the so-called commercial agreement between Metro and the bidding consortium for X-Bricks, the approval by the responsible bodies on both sides is still pending. In addition, the antitrust and supervisory authorities would still have to approve the enforcement.

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