Delhaize, the Belgium-based retailer, has moved to buy Romanian supermarket chain La Fourmi.

The company said today (31 March) that the "highly complementary acquisition" would boost its presence in the Romanian capital Bucharest.

The retailer will pay La Fourmi's owners, including Greek private equity fund Global Finance, which owns 90% of the business, EUR18.6m (US$29.4m).

Delhaize struck the deal through its local subsidiary Mega Image, which runs 43 stores in Romania. Half of those outlets are located in Bucharest.

John Kyritsis, general manager of Mega Image, said: "The 14 La Fourmi stores will strengthen our store network. We also expect sizable sales opportunities and buying synergies from this acquisition."

La Fourmi was the first supermarket chain to open in Bucharest in 1992 following the fall of Communism. The 14 stores will be converted to Mega Image supermarkets, Delhaize said.