Leading UK wholesaler Booker is to acquire the British subsidiary of Metro, Makro UK, with its full portfolio of 30 cash & carry depots.
Cash and shares deal
Booker will pay Metro a cash consideration of £15.8 million for Makro UK, but in addition will cede a 9.9% stake within the Booker business to Makro parent, the German business Metro AG. The total value of the deal at the current market price of Booker shares is £139.7m.
Completes long predicted UK exit for Metro
The last few years has seen persistent speculation that Metro would sell the Makro business, if a buyer could be found. Makro UK has consistently lost sales over the last five years, with turnover falling from over £1.1bn to just £766m in that period, and despite costly attempts to turn business around it has remained loss-making.
Catering focus key to value for Booker
From a wholesale business focused primarily on end consumers, and weighted towards non-food, Makro UK has increasingly sought to drive a more sustainable focus on caterers and foodservice customers in recent years. With heavy investment in depot refits and dedicated sales personnel Makro has successfully grown in this channel, however, this has been insufficient to offset declines in the core business.
The acquisition enables both companies to share best practice and provide an improved offering to caterers, retailers and professional business customers. A typical Booker branch carries 8,500 SKUs while a typical Makro UK branch sells 29,000 SKUs. Booker intends to make part of Makro's product ranges available throughout the UK, either in Booker branches or via the internet.
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