Dutch wholesaler Sligro Food Group has announced plans to acquire the majority of cash-and-carry giant Metro's activities in Belgium.
Sligro, which will take over nine Metro wholesale facilities across the country and about a hundred employees from the regional network and head office, will pay €47 million for the outlets.
"In recent years we have been preparing the organisational structure, our teams, and the logistics and the IT infrastructure in Belgium for this development. We are incredibly excited to be able to put that all into action now," Sligro's chief executive Koen Slippens said.
The group added it would offer workers from Metro's Antwerp North outlet, which it won't be taking over, jobs at the nearby Sligro-ISPC outlet, while the Evergem outlet and its staff would be transferred to food service market wholesaler Van Zon.
It is not yet known what will become of Metro's online activities in the country.
Sligro said the Belgian Competition Authority, which supervises Metro's restructuring in the country, had granted an exception based on its earlier investigation that would allow the transaction could go ahead immediately.
Largest Food Wholesaler
The move means that Sligro Food Group becomes the largest food wholesaler in Belgium in one move.
According to trade publication Gondola, this is 'not a surprise', given that Sligro had already made its intentions clear when it acquired the Java Foodservice business in 2016, and wholesale operator ISPC a year later.
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