German retail giant Metro has finally reached an agreement with the consortium of property investor X+Bricks on the sale of its Real hypermarkets. The deal is causing unrest among the staff.
Metro has been trying to offload Real for a while: for a long time it looked like Redos would be the new owner, but in the end those negotiations fell through. In December, it became known that the German wholesale group was having exclusive talks with X+Bricks and SCP Group and these negotiations have now led to a deal: the real estate consortium will take over the 276 Real hypermarkets for one billion euros, Reuters writes.
It is unclear at this stage exactly what the impact will be on hypermarkets and staff. Only some of the stores will continue to operate under the name Real, the majority of the stores will be sold to retailers such as Edeka, Kaufland or Rewe. Furthermore, a number of stores will close their doors, but Metro-CEO Olaf Koch has told The Guardian he expects that number to be be lower than thirty.
In recent years Metro has systematically sold off assets in order to concentrate fully on its European cash & carry business and supplies to hotels, restaurants and independent traders. For example, in October last year the group sold a majority stake in its Chinese activities to local retailer Wumart.