Lenta to acquire Billa Russia to become #2 supermarket operator in Moscow

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Lenta LLC, an indirect subsidiary of Lenta IPJSC, one of the largest multi-format retail chains in Russia, has announced an agreement to acquire the supermarkets business of Billa Russia GmbH (“Billa Russia”) for EUR 215 million in cash.

The acquisition significantly accelerates Lenta’s expansion in Moscow, adding prime retail locations that represent mature retail properties with a high sales density. As a result of the transaction, Lenta will have a total food retail market share of approximately 3% in Moscow and the Moscow region.

The acquisition is expected to make a meaningful contribution to Lenta’s revenue growth and performance.

Vladimir Sorokin, chief executive officer, commented: “The acquisition of Billa Russia’s supermarkets gives us access to mature stores with established customer traffic, including in central Moscow neighborhoods, and instantly doubles Lenta’s footprint in the supermarket segment in terms of the number of stores overall. Billa’s locations also enable Lenta to further expand its online express delivery offering across all of Moscow, supporting our ambitious plans to significantly grow the online business in the coming years.

Becoming the second biggest supermarket operator in Russia’s largest and wealthiest metropolitan area represents a significant statement of intent backing up the ambitious strategic goals we announced at our recent Capital Markets Day. In addition, this acquisition demonstrates our commitment to continue playing an active role in the development of the grocery retail sector.

“We see a strong cultural fit between Billa Russia and Lenta and are pleased to welcome over 5,400 new colleagues from Billa Russia to the Lenta family. We are confident that this acquisition is a strong win for Lenta customers, employees and shareholders alike.”

Lenta plans to integrate the 161 newly acquired supermarkets, supply chain infrastructure and Billa Russia employees into the Lenta retail network. Once the stores have been converted to the Lenta brand, the Billa brand will be discontinued within Russia.

Billa currently operates supermarkets with total selling space of 138,051 square meters, the vast majority of them in Moscow and the Moscow region, as well as a distribution center in Bykovo (Moscow Region).

The transaction is expected to close in Summer 2021, subject to regulatory approvals from the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS).