Delhaize‘s search for candidates to acquire its 128 integrated supermarkets, is going very well: all stores have found at least one takeover candidate. For three quarters of the shops, there would even be several potential buyers.
Mainly existing franchisees
In an internal communication, which reached Belgian news medium RTBF, the supermarket chain writes that of the “candidates who have spontaneously expressed their interest”, 41 % are existing staff such as current branch managers. 44 % are existing franchisees looking to expand, and only 15 % are external candidates. Buyers will be guided through a preparation and transition phase of six to twelve weeks, “to ensure a smooth transition”, according to the memo.
For the first time, Delhaize also gave more details about the jobs that will disappear at its headquarters. 280 positions would be eliminated, while 72 new ones will be added. The new jobs will be management positions, which can be applied for internally from 3 April. Twenty new positions are currently open, RTBF reports, for ‘Product Experts Centre Store’, beverage experts and partners in ‘Processes & Tools’.
However, trade union Setca questions the figures, calling it a new provocation. This morning, the unions are meeting to discuss new actions. After a week in which most supermarkets were open, Saturday will again see tensions rise as the unions focus their actions on the more lucrative days.
After another failed meeting between management and the unions, last Tuesday, Economy Minister Pierre-Yves Dermagne has appointed a mediator. The supermarket chain had asked him to do so, even though it is not clear what he is supposed to do – it looks like the retailer has made its final decision and will not be moved from its plans to turn all stores into franchise.