Germany's Metro selling its Real Eastern European business to French retailer Groupe Auchan for €1.1B; Auchan will take over operational activities, real estate assets of Real in Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine

DUSSELDORF, Germany , November 30, 2012 (press release) –

  • Transaction comprises operational activities in Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine as well as real estate assets
  • Cash inflow of around € 600 million
  • Significant reduction of rating-relevant net debt by € 1.5 billion
  • German business of Real remains an integral part of METRO GROUP – further development targeted

Today, METRO GROUP signed an agreement with the French retailer Groupe Auchan about the divestment of Real's business in Eastern Europe. Groupe Auchan will take over the operational activities and real estate assets of the METRO GROUP subsidiary in Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. With this move, Real focuses on the successful further development of its German business while at the same time facilitating major growth opportunities for the business operations in Eastern Europe. The purchase price amounts to € 1.1 billion. METRO GROUP will receive a cash inflow of around € 600 million from this transaction. The rating-relevant net debt will be significantly reduced by € 1.5 billion. The divestment still requires approval by the relevant antitrust authorities and will probably be closed in 2013.

Vianney Mulliez, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Groupe Auchan, said: "With the purchase of Real's business activities in the four countries Groupe Auchan takes the opportunity to balance its presence in Central and Eastern Europe, its two other priority development zones being Western Europe and Asia. It is also an opportunity to offer an even better service to our customers, with very professional teams, both in Real and Auchan, that we fully trust." In future, the Real hypermarkets in Eastern Europe will operate under the Auchan brand.

"With Auchan, we found the most suitable buyer for Real's business activities in Eastern Europe. Real is already very well positioned in these countries and has great growth opportunities. Auchan offers good development perspectives for the Real hypermarkets and their employees", said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG.

Real's business activities in Turkey are not part of this transaction as Auchan has no operations there and wants to solely strengthen its already existing activities in Eastern Europe with the acquisitions. Real in Turkey remains unaffected by any changes: "The business activities of Real in Turkey have developed very nicely in recent years and show great growth potential. This is now to be consequently tapped", said Koch.

"Real Germany forms an integral part of the portfolio of METRO GROUP. We are convinced of the potential inherent in the hypermarket business in Germany. In collaboration with the management of Real we are currently working on an action plan to leverage the existing earnings potential and to sustainably increase profitability", said Koch.

The sale of Real Eastern Europe to Groupe Auchan comprises 91 Real hypermarkets in Poland, Russia, Romania and Ukraine including the real estate assets of 14 stores. In these four countries, Real has reached sales of more than € 2.6 billion in 2011 and has a workforce of around 20,000 employees. Auchan operates 98 stores and has a workforce of around 65.000 employees in these four countries.

GROUPE AUCHAN is the world's 12th largest food retailer. It operates in 12 countries and has 269,000 employees. It is structured into 5 core businesses: hypermarkets (655 fully-consolidated stores and 23 under management mandates, associated or franchised, supermarkets (767 fully-consolidated stores and 1,665 franchised and associated ), retail real estate (Immochan), banking (Oney Banque Accord), e-commerce, and other activities. The Group’s vision is to improve the purchasing power and quality of life for the greatest number of customers, with responsible, professional, committed and respected employees. In 2011, Auchan Group reached a consolidated revenue excluding taxes of 44.4 billion euros, 55% coming from outside France. More information at:

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most international retailing companies. In 2011 the Group reached sales of around € 67 billion. The company has a headcount of over 280,000 employees and operates around 2,200 stores in 32 countries. The Group's performance is based on the strength of its sales brands which operate independently in their respective market segment: Metro/Makro Cash & Carry – the international leader in self-service wholesale, Real hypermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn – European market leader in consumer electronics retailing, and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

The hypermarket chain real,- is a member of METRO GROUP. real,- stands for a wide range of branded products, high levels of competency in freshness and good value for money. Under the umbrella of real,- Group, the company manages 316 hypermarkets in Germany as well as another 110 in Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. In fiscal year 2011, the company with about 70.000 employees reached net sales of € 11.2 billion. More information is available at

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