Takeover rumours around Sainsbury's are once again abuzz as Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky has unexpectedly increased his stake in the British supermarket chain to 9.99 per cent.
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The implosion of the AgeCore alliance is sharpening the conflict of interests between supermarkets and brand manufacturers: multinationals are demanding action against abuse of power, while food retailers are defending the free market. Warning: even bigger buying groups may be in the making.
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Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, famous for his ventures into Metro, Casino and Sainsbury's, has acquired a 50 % stake in Supratuc 2020, which includes Eroski operations in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
As retail alliance AgeCore breaks up, a movement of alliances in food retail is imminent. This could lead to a further spread of unfair trading practices in the EU, brand manufacturers fear.
After German Edeka, French retailer Intermarché also wants to leave the AgeCore alliance. In the background is a redrawing of the landscape of French purchasing alliances: "Everyone talks to everyone".
The future of European retail alliance AgeCore is highly uncertain now that German supermarket chain Edeka is cancelling its membership. One of the reasons is a lawsuit in France about possible abuse of power.
Dirk Depoorter, general manager of Retail Partners Colruyt Group, will next year lead the European retail alliance Agecore, which has been regularly in the news in recent years due to trade disputes with major FMCG suppliers.
The Carrefour Group has signed an agreement with the Eroski Group to acquire 36 of its compact hypermarkets in Spain. Carrefour will also obtain 8 shopping centers and 22 gas stations in the deal.