Germany's Ceconomy enters France with $526 million Fnac Darty stake



Wed, 26 Jul 2017 - 10:04 GMT


Wed, 26 Jul 2017 - 10:04 GMT

Germany Flag - via wikimedia commons

Germany Flag - via wikimedia commons

BERLIN - 26 July 2017: German consumer electronics retailer Ceconomy will become the largest shareholder in French music and book retailer Fnac Darty, marking its entry into France just weeks after it was spun off from Metro.

Ceconomy said on Wednesday it signed a deal to buy a 24.33 percent stake in Fnac Darty from Artemis, a French holding company owned by Francois Henri Pinault, for around 452 million euros ($525.6 million) in cash, or 70 euros a share.

Pieter Haas, Ceconomy chief executive, said the investment allows the company to "gain exposure to the highly attractive French market and its particularly strong consumer electronics segment."

France is one of the few major European markets where Ceconomy, which runs stores under the Media Markt and Saturn brands, has no presence.

Fnac Darty has more than 660 stores and is France's biggest consumer electronics retailer with a market share of 23 percent, Ceconomy said.

Ceconomy is Europe's biggest consumer electronics group, ahead of Britain's Dixons Carphone, running more than 1,000 stores in 15 European countries, with sales of 22 billion euros in the 2015/16 financial year.

Fnac shares were up 0.6 percent at 75.95 euros, while Ceconomy rose 2.5 percent to 9.43 euros in early trade.

The deal for Artemis' entire stake in Fnac Darty should be completed by the end of August and Ceconomy expects to retain its investment grade rating, it said.

Metro split into two separate companies - Ceconomy and its food business - earlier this month and at the time said Ceconomy would drive consolidation in Europe.

The purchase price may change should Metro or one of its units make a public takeover offer for Fnac Darty within two years.



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