The owner of Bulgaria’s burgeoning Piccadilly retail chain has been lent €14.5m (US$17.8m) by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to set up six food-based supermarkets on the country’s Black Sea coast.

The bank said that Boliari’s new stores would enable consumers in the cities of Varna and Bourgas to “gain more access to a wide variety of good quality food products at competitive prices”.

The €12m loan and €2.5m equity investment will also help Bulgarian-owned Boliari improve corporate governance. The bank added that the expansion would “offer reliable market outlets to farmers and local agro-processing enterprises”.