It has recently become clear that the Real supermarket chain will soon have a new owner. But the sale has consequences for individual Real branches as well as for the parent company Metro.
Around 30 of the remaining 276 real stores are to be closed after the upcoming sale of the supermarket chain to the financial investor SCP. That said the boss of the real parent company Metro, Olaf Koch. The manager reported that the sales negotiations were “closed, so to speak”. It is planned that the boards of both companies will give their approval to the negotiated contract as of Thursday.
Metro has been looking for a buyer for a while
The Düsseldorf retail group Metro wants to concentrate entirely on its wholesale business in the future and has therefore been looking for a buyer for its weakening supermarket division for some time. After the sale, the supermarket chain with currently around 34,000 employees is to be broken up. The buyers want to continue operating a core of 50 real markets for at least 24 months. However, the majority of the branches are to be sold to other dealers such as Edeka or Kaufland. The new operators are expected to promise to continue employing Real employees, Koch said. Branches without future prospects are to be closed.
Also in the important Christmas quarter, Real once again proved to be the problem child of the Metro. Further value adjustments shortly before the sale made the parent company in the red in the first quarter of the 2019/2020 financial year. The bottom line was a loss of 34 million euros, as the company announced when presenting the quarterly figures. The valuation allowances on Real put Metro at 237 million euros.
Effects of the sale on the parent company
With the sale of Real, Metro expects a net inflow of funds of around EUR 300 million. That is around 200 million euros less than was hoped a few months ago. Here, among other things, the business development at Real has made itself felt in recent months, said Koch.
In continuing operations – i.e. without real and without the Chinese business that is also about to be sold – the profit of the retail giant fell in the three months at the end of December by almost 30 percent to 121 million euros. The operating result (Ebitda) excluding real estate sales decreased slightly by 0.6 percent to 526 million euros. The company confirmed the annual forecast.