Carrefour has acquired the eighteen Romanian Cora stores from Louis Delhaize. The two parties have reached an agreement today, Carrefour confirms to our editors.
Belgians leaving Romania
After a strategic review, Louis Delhaize is leaving Romania. The Belgian retailer had ten hypermarkets and eight convenience stores left in the country, but has now decided to sell them all to its French competitor Carrefour. Earlier in the day, Forbes reported on rumours that a sale was imminent, but the French retailer has now confirmed that the deal is done.
Cora Romania employs nearly 2,400 people and includes central services, e-commerce and logistics on top of the eighteen stores. “As the Carrefour Group is already present in Romania, employees will be able to join a brand that is well established in the country and has significant resources to strengthen its position”, a press statement said.
Cora is the only retailer in Romania that has shrunk since the Covid pandemic. In 2021, sales were down by 5 % compared to 2020, and the company also recorded losses. In 2021, the retail holding company already sold the real estate of the hypermarkets, which it then leased back from the new owner.
In contrast, Carrefour Romania grew by 9 % in 2022 and is almost ten times the size of Cora. For Carrefour, Romania is the second best growth market after Poland. However, the full divestiture still needs to be approved by the competition authorities. The change of control is expected to become effective in the second half of 2023.
“We are proud of the work accomplished by our teams in Romania over the last few years and are pleased to be able to give a new dynamic to these shops and to the staff of Cora Romania. It is with emotion that we leave the country, but also reassured to know that this activity will be able to continue and develop,” says Pierre Bouriez, Managing Director of Louis Delhaize Group.