Ahold Delhaize joins the battle for Hema and undertakes a new attempt to incorporate the Dutch department store chain.
Competitive battle with Jumbo
There were earlier rumors that Ahold Delhaize was interested in Hema. Now the FD reports that the group has appointed merchant bank Lazard to supervise the process. Potential buyers of Hema have until Monday to make themselves known.
Insiders see the possible takeover primarily as a defensive manoeuvre: the supermarket group would first and foremost like to prevent major competitor Jumbo from getting its hands on Hema. Last month, Jumbo-CFO Ton van Veen did deny wanting to take over Hema, but apparently Ahold Delhaize does not attach too much value to this statement. Jumbo already took over 17 city stores from Hema at the end of last year. Moreover, both parties work closely together: part of the Hema range can now also be found in the Jumbo supermarkets.
Since Hema came into the hands of a group of creditors (in exchange for debt reduction), a whole series of names of potential buyers has been circulating. For example, Blokker owner Michiel Witteveen and the investment company Parcom have already expressed their interest. The American investor Flacks Group was added at the beginning of this week.
In the past, Ahold Delhaize has already tried to take over Hema twice. In 2007, the group was defeated by Lion Capital. And also in 2010, when the British investment company Hema was put up for sale again, Ahold Delhaize narrowly missed the mark.