Retail

Croatia's Studenac Surpasses 1,000-Store Mark With Lonia Acquisition

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Croatian retailer Studenac has completed its acquisition of rival Lonia Trgovina, adding 300 stores to its network and reinforcing its position as Croatia's largest grocer by store count.

The Omiš-based group now boasts a network of more than 1,000 stores, with the number of outlets almost tripling over the past three years. Its headcount has increased to more than 5,500 as a result of the acquisition.

“We are excited to welcome the Lonia team into our growing Studenac family, in the most recent chapter of our impressive growth story,” commented Studenac board president Michał Seńczuk. “Studenac is becoming a true nationwide retailer, and we are looking forward to a few months of hard but rewarding work as we integrate Lonia.”

The value of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Acquisition Strategy

Studenac was acquired by private equity fund Enterprise Investors in 2018, and has since expanded nationwide through a combination of takeovers and organic growth. Enterprise Investors has invested more than €260 million in Studenac, including €120 million for acquisitions.

Recent moves include the February acquisition of Pemo and takeovers of Kordun in April and Duravit in May.

Following the takeover of Lonia, it will commence the process of integrating and rebranding the Lonia network, while in the medium term it plans to establish a distribution center in the north of Croatia.

“Lonia is exceptionally important for the Zagreb market, with excellent locations and great potential, which means it fits perfectly into our story,” Seńczuk added. “The network provides an ideal platform for further growth in this region based on our proximity format, where we have the largest market share.”

Growth Aspirations

Studenac forecasts that pro forma revenue will exceed €500 million this year, placing it among Croatia’s top six retailers. The company also continues to expand organically, with plans to open 100 stores this year.

Studenac has also established a new digital unit, which will serve as a 'centre of excellence for advanced analytics and innovations', it said.

© 2022 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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