The new owners of Dutch retailer Hema are already looking to sell their chain - and they are not very subtle about it. CEO Tjeerd Jegen says he will not accept just anyone.
Jumbo, Blokker or Boekhoorn?
Eight shareholders have acquired Hema in a deal aimed to minimise the chain's debts, however the chain is still worth less than the 680 million euros of debts it still has, Dutch newspaper NRC reports. This makes it harder for the new owners, who have styled themselves as the Ad Hoc Group, to find a suitable acquisition candidate.
The group hopes to sell on Hema before the summer is over, and according to rumours there are three serious candidates: Dutch supermarket chain Jumbo, the equally Dutch Blokker group... and former Hema owner Marcel Boekhoorn, who lost possession of his chain just last week. Some analysts thought Jumbo was the most promising of the three - after all, both chains are already working together - but the suggestion was immediately shot down by Jumbo's CFO Ton van Veen.
That most recent development is a disappointment to Hema CEO Tjeerd Jegen, who had said in the Volkskrant that he would love to have "a company like Jumbo" as the new owner. In the same interview, Jegen said he would quit his job as CEO if the new owners would create a debt structure similar to previous owners Lion Capital - adding that the management board would quit as well in that instance.