Completely unexpectedly, a takeover candidate has stepped forward for the Belgian Makro shops: a French investment fund seems to want to take over the majority of the staff. For Metro, Sligro is said to have made the best offer.
Sligro in the lead
Current CEO Vincent Nolf and Dutch competitor Sligro are confirmed candidates for all eleven stores of wholesaler Metro, but there is also interest in one particular store and another party has made a partial offer. The interest in a specific branch is said to come from a local player, De Standaard reports.
Sligro is said to have made the most interesting offer: the Dutch group, is already active in Belgium with its ISPC wholesale stores, would like to take over 509 employees. This means that about 100 employees at the company’s headquarters could also stay on board. Financially, Sligro’s offer would also exceed that of the CEO and his partners.
French interest in Makro
It was eagerly awaited whether there would also be interest in Makro’s loss-making – and outdated – shops. Against all odds, a candidate has emerged there too. A French investment fund would like to give some 70 % of the staff a future and would be prepared to pay a significant amount. The French would also like to take over the stocks and the building in Liège. According to Het Nieuwsblad, the French candidate will be assisted by a Flemish partner, but no names are known as yet.
However, given the explicit interest in the Makro inventory, it is notable that the liquidation sale is going ahead as planned. Indeed, the total liquidation of non-food stocks in the shops starts today. Stores will remain open until the end of December and will gradually offer more reductions – starting with a modest 20 %. “We expect that the new owner will not be interested in the specific Makro range,” CEO Vincent Nolf told VRT NWS.
The liquidation is mostly necessary to continue paying the salaries of the employees until the end of the year. Moreover, it is not yet certain that the anonymous French candidate will be able to keep his promises – certainly financially. It is now up to the court to judge and choose the best takeover scenarios, a process that could take some time. The court’s mandataries want to conclude the deal by the end of the year, they said earlier.