Dutch retail cooperatives Plus and Coop have announce that they are to join forces, merging together to form the third largest grocery chain in the Netherlands.
The two groups are to form a new cooperative, Plus U.A., which will boast approximately 550 outlets across the Netherlands, annual sales of around €5 billion, and boast a market share of more than 10%.
The combined group, which will be led by the current general manager of Plus, Duncan Hoy, with Coop boss Fred Bosch taking the role of finance chief, will employ around 40,000 personnel and serve more than 4.5 million customers per week.
'Future-Proof and Competitive'
In a joint statement, the two groups said that the merger of Plus and Coop creates a 'strong, future-proof and competitive player in the Dutch supermarket landscape', and will yield around €50 million in operational benefits per year.
“As cooperatives, Plus and Coop are close to their customers," said Hoy. "We are also the place where enterprising retailers feel at home. By working together, we ensure that our entrepreneurs can continue to serve customers successfully in their local market area in the future, with an even greater focus on convenience, inspiration and quality.”
Coop general manager Bosch added that the ability to "scale up" offers both parties more clout in the marketplace. "We are convinced that we can achieve our ambitions. together optimally for and with our members: independent entrepreneurs and consumers," he said.
Management Structure Of New Business
The merged company will operate from one integrated service office in Utrecht, the groups said. Director general of the business will be Duncan Hoy, with Fred Bosch taking the role of finance director and Mayte Oosterveld assuming the position of operations director. The supervisory board will have a 'balanced composition' with representatives from both organisations, they added.
“The merger of these two cooperatives, with the same values and a similar focus on entrepreneurs and consumers, is good news for all stakeholders," added Nico Korswagen, chairman of the supervisory board of Coop.
The proposed merger is expected to close in early 2022, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of both the Coop Members Council and Plus General Members Meeting, as well as Dutch competition bodies.
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