Delhaize today (18 May) launched a bid for the shares in Greek retailer Alfa-Beta that the Belgium-based group does not already own.

Delhaize holds a 65.27% stake in Alfa-Beta, which has 199 stores in Greece and last year generated sales of EUR1.34bn (US$1.81bn).

The offer of EUR30.5 was an “attractive cash premium” for Alfa-Beta’s minority shareholders, Delhaize president and CEO  Pierre-Olivier Beckers said.

“Following the tender offer, Delhaize Group intends to operate Alfa-Beta with no major changes to its current business model or strategy,” he added.

Delhaize plans to buy up at least 90% of the business and then launch a “squeeze-out” of the remaining shareholders. Its plans twill now be scrutinised by Greek financial authorities.

Delhaize bought its first stake – of some 45.42% – in Alfa-Beta in 1992.