UK retail giant Tesco has acquired the Zabka and Koruna retail outlets in the Czech Republic from Slovak financial group Penta Investment.

The purchase, for CZK1.2bn (US$62.1m), includes 81 Zabka stores and 47 Koruna supermarkets.

Penta also owns the Zabka chain in Poland which was not part of this transaction, but is currently subject to separate negotiations, the firm confirmed to just-food today (23 December).

A spokesperson for Penta said the sale of the stores in the Czech Republic was down to a lack of growth opportunities in the country.

“We are in a position of financial investment and we just decided to sell Zabka in the Czech because we haven’t seen enough room for growth through acquisitions and the Czech market is quite consolidated,” the spokesperson said. “There were three investors interested in acquiring our assets in the Czech but we decided to move forward with Tesco and we are very satisfied with this transaction.”

The spokesperson added the sale of the Czech stores will allow it to now focus on the Polish Zabka chain.

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“The Polish business is the biggest one and is the main asset for us. “The Czech line was just inspired by the Polish model three years ago but really, the significant asset for the investors is Poland where Zabka operates 2,300 stores. Polish Zabka is one of the most profitable companies in our portfolio,” the spokesperson told just-food.

Penta is also in negotiations to sell its network of 2,300 Zabka stores in Poland. Tesco has been linked to the purchase of the entire business, along with Carrefour and two other financial bidders.

The Penta spokesperson declined to name the parties interested in the Polish business and insisted that the negotiations for the two businesses were separate.

“These are two different companies with different management and different synergies,” the Penta spokesperson said. “This sale won’t have any effect on the Poland business.”

He added that negotiations over the future of the Polish chain, however, will continue until a decision is reached.

“Of course it is true with the Polish stores there is big interest but there is no decision yet. We have three options regarding Polish Zabka. One is to sell the company 100%, the second option is to float it on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and the third option is really to keep the company fully in our hands, as we see good potential in the growth of the business,” the spokesperson said.

He added that Penta has “no time frame” for a decision to be made on any possible deal over the Polish Zabka stores.