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Sep 12, 2007 15:21 EEST
September 12 (SeeNews) - Serbia's largest retailer, Delta Maxi, part of diversified group Delta Holding, on Wednesday bought an 85% stake in Bulgarian retail chain Piccadilly for an undisclosed price as part of its ambitious strategy to become the top retailer in southeastern Europe in the next five years.
The company plans to invest 70 million euro ($97.2 million) in 20 new Piccadilly stores across Bulgaria in the next two years, Delta Maxi's chief executive Dragan Filipovic said. The company will target a market share of 20-25%.
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"With our entry in Bulgaria, we enter the European Union common market with the goal to become a leading retailer in southeast Europe," Filipovic told a news conference upon signing the contract.
"The acquisition of the majority stake will actually be completed after the approval of the [Bulgarian] Commission for Protection of Competition which we expect in a few days," Piccadilly chief executive officer Stefan Kosev said.
Piccadilly and Delta Maxi will work on synchronising both companies' operations by 2009, when the acquisition will be considered finalised, Kosev said and added that the acquisition cost will be also known by then.
Piccadilly, set up in the middle 1990s, runs 11 stores in four Bulgarian cities. The company expects 110 million euro in revenue this year, up 40% from the previous year, Kosev said.
"In four years, our forecast is for an at least four-fold increase in the revenue figures as compared to the this year's estimate," said Kosev, adding that in this period the company would aim to become the largest retail chain in the country and to develop other types of retail outlets such as hypermarkets and corner shops.
"We are also studying the possibility to build a logistics centre," he added.
Besides dealing in retail, Delta Maxi produces cooking oil, meat products, coffee, confectionery and bottled water.
Delta Holding (www.deltayu.com) is owned by Miroslav Miskovic, a Serbian tycoon who emerged in the early 1990s during the rule of ex-Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic. The group is active in the distribution, production, agribusiness, real estate, financial services and insurance sectors.
($ = 0.7203 euro)
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