Delhaize has increased its stake in Greek subsidiary Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos to 89.56%, just below the level needed for an automatic buy-out of the remaining shareholders.

The Belgian group increased its stake in Greece’s second-largest retailer through a tender offer launched in May.

It offered EUR34 (US$47.55) per share for all outstanding shares, valuing the company at EUR433m. Prior to the tender offer, Delhaize held 65.27% of Alfa-Beta shares.

The take up of the tender takes Delhaize’s stake to just under the 90% threshold it needs for an automatic buy-out.

In May, Delhaize said it intended to proceed with a squeeze-out if it acquired 90% of Alfa-Beta’s voting rights, and will begin delisting it if it reaches 95%.

However, Delhaize president and CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers insisted that the company was not disappointed with the take-up.

“We are more than happy with the success of the tender offer during which we could increase our shareholding by almost 25%. These results give Delhaize Group the necessary flexibility for its plans for the future of Alfa-Beta,” he said.