METRO GROUP acquires French food service distribution specialist for professional customers Pro à Pro

  • Pro à Pro complements METRO GROUP's French wholesale business in the growth segment of Food Service Distribution (FSD)
  • The transaction underlines the strong position of METRO in the HoReCa business in France and extends the FSD customer base nationwide
  • FSD as growth driver for the wholesale business of METRO GROUP

METRO GROUP has acquired the French food service distribution company for professional customers Pro à Pro from the Belgian retail group Colruyt Group. Pro à Pro is one of the most important food service distribution (FSD) providers in France offering direct food delivery services to different customer groups including the hotel, restaurant and catering (HoReCa) sector. The company has around 42,000 customers in France and focuses on major contract caterers as well as canteens in the public and private sector, chained restaurants and independent restaurants. With this acquisition, METRO GROUP strengthens its French wholesale business in the growth segment FSD and creates an additional offering for the customers of METRO Cash & Carry France. The transaction comprises the operational business as well as the warehouse locations, logistics platforms and the truck fleet of Pro à Pro. It was agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction. The acquisition is pending approval by the relevant regulatory authorities.

"Food Service Distribution is a strategic growth driver for the wholesale business of METRO Cash & Carry", says Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board of METRO AG. "Following the acquisitions of Classic Fine Foods and Rungis Express we are now also further extending the service offering for our customers in the important French market with the takeover of Pro à Pro. With this move, we not only expand our market presence but, most of all, we also enhance our customer relevance. In total, we have gained a FSD sales volume of more than €1 billion within the past twelve months with these three acquisitions." FSD carries a considerable potential in the HoReCa segment: a growing number of HoReCa customers in France and in several other markets meanwhile prefer to have the option to choose the delivery service. "The French FSD business offers an enormous growth potential", says Philippe Palazzi, Member of the Operating Board of METRO Cash & Carry and Operating Partner France, Spain and Portugal. "With the nation-wide presence and strong position of Pro à Pro we will be excellently positioned for further growth in this field and can offer our French professional customers a true value added."

"The future growth of Pro à Pro continues to be our primary focus. We deem that Pro à Pro's growth ambitions can best be realised by combining it with a strong complementary market player like METRO GROUP", says Dries Colpaert, General Manager of Colruyt France and Foodservice.

Since its founding in the year 2001, Pro à Pro has grown from a local delivery operator to a national player with nationwide coverage in the fragmented French FSD business - also thanks to the integration of competitors. The company serves around 42,000 customers and focuses on major contract caterers as well as canteens in schools, hospitals, companies, defence and the leisure sector as well as chained restaurants. Pro à Pro currently reports strong growth in the field of independent restaurants and caterers. Overall, Pro à Pro has a headcount of over 1,700 fulltime employees, among them 170 field service employees with direct contacts to the local customers. In 2015, the company generated sales of around €670 million. Pro à Pro's assortment covers approximately 12,500 articles including more than 5,000 chilled and close to 5,000 ambient food articles as well as a small range of frozen and non-food products. Thanks to its integrated logistics with 18 warehouses, 19 logistics platforms and a truck fleet of some 400 vehicles, Pro à Pro can offer extremely flexible delivery services throughout the country. The company in addition also operates in the French overseas departments Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana and La Réunion.

 

METRO GROUP is one of the most important international retailing companies. It generated sales of some €59 billion in financial year 2014/15. The company operates over 2,000 locations in 29 countries and employs more than 220,000 people. The performance of METRO GROUP is based on the strength of its sales brands, which act independently on the market: METRO/MAKRO Cash & Carry, the international leader in the self-service wholesale trade; Media Markt and Saturn, the European market leader in consumer electronics retailing; and Real hypermarkets.

Colruyt Group operates in the food and non-food distribution sector in Belgium, France and Luxembourg with approximately 500 own stores and over 500 affiliated stores. In Belgium this includes Colruyt, OKay, Bio-Planet, Cru, Dreamland, Dreambaby and the affiliated stores Spar and Spar Compact. In France, in addition to approximately 70 Colruyt stores, there are also affiliated Coccinelle, CocciMarket and Panier Sympa stores. The group is also actively involved in the food service business (supply of food products to hospitals, company canteens and catering businesses) in France (Pro à Pro) and in Belgium (Solucious). The other activities comprise the sale of fuel in Belgium (DATS 24), printing and document management solutions (Symeta) and the production of green energy. The group employs over 29.000 employees and recorded a EUR 9.1 billion revenue in 2015/16. Colruyt is listed on NYSE Euronext Brussels (COLR) under ISIN code BE0974256852.