Supermarket Chain BILLA Might be Leaving Bulgaria

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German corporation REWE Group, represented in Bulgaria by two popular supermarket chains BILLA and PENNY Market is allegedly in the process of selling their locations across Bulgaria.

According to unconfirmed information reported by Kapital daily, the procedures have already been launched and the results will be visible in less than two months.

The nespaper also reminded that the first procedure for the selling of the company’s capacities in Romania and Bulgaria has started over a year ago and was entrusted to the London based equity fund Mid Europe.

Reportedly, the current sales project will encompass only the supermarkets located in Bulgaria – 91 BILLA stores and 49 – PENNY Markets.

Meanwhile, two other big supermarket chains in Bulgaria merged in November 2014 – the French Carrefour and joint venture-owned Piccadilly. The current enterprise has stated that they are not able to confirm the alleged deal.

According to the rough estimations of Kapital daily, the chain BILLA has had BGN 497,3 M annual income for 2013 and BGN 11,54 M debt, while PENNY Market recorded BGN 195 M in income and BGN 24,19 M in debt.

The situation was said to have remained unchanged in 2014, when BILLA allegedly had BGN 500 M in turnover, and the low-cost chain PENNY – BGN 200 M.

Market analysts commented that the value of the deal expected will reach BGN 360 M.

Meanwhile, the turnover of supermarkets operating in Bulgaria was estimated at BGN 10.3 B, according to data provided by analysts from ICAP. The top ten chains account for 37% of the sum, while the first 50 have concentrated close to 45% of turnover.

BILLA took the third place in terms of income in 2013, according to Kapital’s estimations, falling short from leader Kaufland and the second chain Metro. PENNY Market took the seventh place.

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