Belgian food retailer Louis Delhaize is to expand its Cora hypermarkets chain in Romania, helped by a €40m (US$48.5m) loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and €10m from Austria’s Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich (RZB).

The deal – seven months after the company borrowed €160m from both banks to launch Cora hypermarkets in Hungary – will see two hypermarkets being built in Bucharest and the rest in provincial centres.

The EBRD said Delhaize’s commitment to expansion in eastern Europe would provide local citizens with a wider range of quality food products that are low in prices. This would benefit consumers and local suppliers.