Dutch operator Mirage Retail Group, which owns the Blokker and Big Bazar retail banners, has pulled out of the race to acquire retailer Hema, according to media reports.
AD.nl reported that Mirage has ended negotiations with Hema's owners, without going into specifics.
As recently as last month, the CEO of Mirage, Michiel Witteveen, stated his intentions to bid for the Hema business, noting that the Blokker owner had "enough resources" to mount a bid.
Still In The Running
Among the candidates still in line to move for Hema are grocery giant Ahold Delhaize, venture capitalist firms Parcom and Flacks Group, as well as a publicly-funded initiative, WeLoveHema-HouDeHema.
Jumbo, which has a partnership with Hema that sees both operators place 'store-in-store' operations in each others' outlets, is not thought to be tabling a bid for the retailer.
Retail expert Kitty Koelemeijer told AD.nl that she was "unsurprised" that Blokker pulled out of the race.
“I didn't see the synergy between the two chains. Hema is a completely different company from Blokker, which has traditionally been a trading company," she told the paper.
"Hema designs and produces everything itself. How do you want to merge those two formulas?"
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.