Laurus has agreed to sell its 41 Konmar stores to rivals Ahold and discount retailer Jumbo Supermarkten for a combined total of EUR133m (US$171.12), higher then market analysts had predicted.

Ahold has agreed to buy 29 Konmar-branded stores for EUR110m, excluding inventory and franchisee receivables, while Jumbo has agreed to buy 12 Konmar outlets for EUR23m.

“It is a good price,” Frits Kremer of Laurus told just-food today (31 May).

On Monday a consortium formed by Dutch retail companies Sligro Food Group and Sperwer Holding agreed to purchase the 223 Edah and Edah Lekker & Laang stores from Laurus for an estimated total consideration of EUR221m.
“We are fairly satisfied with the price we obtained for the two chains,” Kremer said.

Ahold’s Albert Heijn will acquire 23 Konmar stores, of which three are franchise stores, while Ahold’s consolidated subsidiary Schuitema will acquire another six Konmar stores, including one franchise store.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, is subject to various conditions including works council, landlord, Laurus shareholder and regulatory approval. Konmar employees will transfer to the new owners.

Looking to the future for Laurus, Kremer said that short-term gains from the sale were relatively unimportant when compared to the mid- to long-term goal of delivering good results with the company’s ramaining retail format Super de Boer.

Super de Boer’s future growth, Kremer suggested, lies in carving out a unique niche in the highly competitive Danish market.

“Super de Boer is a full-service super market occupying a similar position to the market leader Albert Heijn. Super de Boer is very popular in the countryside. We are trying to distinguish ourselves with fresh  and regional produce and, of course, by delivering quality products at low prices.”

The transaction, expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year, is an opportunity for Albert Heijn and Schuitema to acquire large stores in prominent locations in the Netherlands. The acquisition is in line with the strategy of growing businesses in key markets through selective acquisitions.