METRO GROUP signs agreement to divest its wholesale activities in Vietnam

7 August 2014

  • Thailand's BJC signed agreement to acquire METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam
  • Transaction value totalling €655 million
  • Positive EBIT contribution to METRO GROUP in 2014/15
  • METRO GROUP drives strategic focusing – transaction allows investment in future growth and strengthening balance sheet
  • Transaction subject to customary closing conditions and approvals

METRO GROUP has today signed an agreement with Thailand's Berli Jucker Public Company Limited (BJC) according to which the Thai diversified supply chain group will acquire the complete wholesale business in Vietnam of the Düsseldorf based retailing and trading group. BJC will take over the complete operational business of METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam including all 19 wholesale stores and the related real estate portfolio for an enterprise value of €655 million. From this transaction, METRO GROUP is expected to generate a positive extraordinary EBIT effect of a mid-three-digit million Euro range for the financial year 2014/15. The Transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals from relevant authorities.

"METRO and BJC have been in discussions with regards to our Vietnamese wholesale business which has now led to a transaction after thorough and diligent examination. We strongly believe that the proposed transaction will create long term shareholder value for both parties," said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. "Our Thai partner sees a great strategic synergy potential and development opportunities for METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam thanks to its already established operational network in the region. We are sure that the success story of METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam will further develop, as we are placing our Vietnamese business in very good hands securing its future and the future of its employees. At the same time, this transaction will allow us to invest into the further growth of METRO GROUP and further strengthen our balance sheet. We have always made very clear that one part of our strategic direction is to be more focussed and continue to improve our performance as a group. This requires us to make choices and in this particular situation we are convinced, that through this transaction we will enhance our flexibility and readiness to implement our various initiatives throughout METRO Cash & Carry. Asia will remain as important as ever to METRO GROUP and we will continue to invest into the focus and expansion countries of METRO Cash & Carry, as well as into strategically important customer-focused projects like multi-channel retail and thereby secure our future growth."

METRO GROUP entered the Vietnamese market in 2002 with its cash & carry wholesale business and is currently operating 19 wholesale stores across the country with about 3,600 employees. The local subsidiary generated sales of €516 million in the pro forma financial year 2012/13. Over the years METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam has invested broadly and continuously in the local trade infrastructure and food hygiene and safety. Efforts include training more than 20,000 Vietnamese farmers and fishermen to increase their yield and product safety for the better access to the modern trade and long-term competence. METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam's large market potential will be further tapped by BJC's expansion ambitions and strong operational expertise.

BJC believes that this is a landmark transaction that will deliver immediate scale to the company in a high growth region of the South East Asian FMCG sector, and increase the competitiveness of the group as a whole. The acquisition of METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam complements BJC's existing presence in Vietnam, effectively completing its supply chain footprint and elevating the business to #2 position in the modern grocery market. The transaction is subject to the fulfilment of customary closing conditions and approvals from relevant authorities. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2015.

METRO GROUP is one of the largest and most important international retailing companies. During the financial year 2012/13 (pro forma), it generated sales of about €66 billion. The company operates around 2,200 stores in 31 countries and has a headcount of around 250,000 employees. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands that operate independently in their respective market segments: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry - the international leader in self-service wholesale - Media Markt and Saturn - the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing - Real hypermarkets and Galeria Kaufhof department stores.

BJC is a Thailand-based manufacturing, marketing and distribution investment company, listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand with a market capitalization of THB 88bn (EUR 2.0bn) as at 4 August 2014. BJC's business is categorised into 5 key 'supply chains', including Packaging Supply Chain, Consumer Supply Chain, Healthcare Supply Chain, Technical Supply Chain and Retail & Others Supply Chain (Others). The business operates through 6 office locations in South East Asia, with total sales in CY13 of THB 42bn (c.EUR 975m).