Savola gets clearance for Geant buy
Riyadh, October 8, 2009
Saudi-based Savola Group has obtained anti-trust approval to buy all Geant supermarkets owned by private Fawaz Alhokair Group.
The Saudi Competitiveness Board approved the acquisition whose cost was estimated at 440 million riyals ($117.3 million), Savola said in a statement posted on the bourse's website.
In July, Savola signed an agreement with Alhokair to buy Geant supermarket outlets in the kingdom, in its second retail acquisition since 2008.
The deal will enable Savola's retail arm Azizia Panda to raise to 8 from 7 percent its share of the Saudi retail market and would increase its turnover by 13 percent, Savola said.
The acquisition fits with Savola's plan to raise to 10 percent its share of the 96 billion riyals generated in annual sales by the Saudi retail market within five years.
Azizia, 80-percent owned by Savola, plans to have 120 stores by the end of 2010, double its level in 2008.
Fawaz Alhokair Group teamed up in 2004 with France's Casino to bring the Geant supermarket brand to Saudi Arabia.
Azizia Panda competes with France's Carrefour and the local Abdullah Al-Othaim Markets Co. - Reuters
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