SOURCE: Delhaize Group

January 04, 2008 13:15 ET

Delhaize Group's Alfa-Beta Acquires Greek Retailer Plus Hellas

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - January 4, 2008) - Delhaize Group (BRUX: DELB) (NYSE: DEG), the Belgian international food retailer, announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Greek retailer Plus Hellas through its subsidiary Alfa-Beta Vassilopoulos. This highly complementary acquisition of 33 stores and a new distribution center will reinforce the position of Alfa-Beta in Greece, particularly in Northern Greece where it had a limited presence.

Kostas Macheras, Chief Executive Officer of Alfa-Beta, commented: "From a geographic and real estate point of view, Plus Hellas is a perfect fill-in acquisition for Alfa-Beta. The recently opened Plus stores will give us an important presence in Northern Greece. Moreover, the new distribution center close to Thessaloniki will provide the necessary space for our rapidly growing operations in the North."

Plus Hellas belongs to the Plus chain, part of the German Tengelmann Group. Plus entered the Greek market in 2005 and started its retailing operations in 2006. The acquisition consists of 33 new stores (average selling area of 795 m2) and a modern distribution center (36,000 m2), including real estate ownership of 14 stores and the distribution center. Plus Hellas also has several new stores in the pipeline. The purchase price is EUR 69.5 million, subject to contractual adjustments. The Plus stores will be converted to Alfa-Beta banners.

Renaud Cogels, Chief Executive Officer of Delhaize Group Southeastern Europe said: "The acquisition of Plus Hellas fits perfectly in Delhaize Group's strategy to reinforce its presence in existing or adjacent markets through fill-in acquisitions with strong synergies. Alfa-Beta has been a star performer in our Group during recent years, and this acquisition will give it an extra boost. "

The acquisition of Plus Hellas is subject to customary conditions, including the approval by the Greek antitrust authorities. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2008.

Alfa-Beta is the second largest food retailer in Greece. At the end of September 2007, Alfa-Beta's network consisted of 154 stores under the banners Alfa-Beta, AB City Market, ENA cash & carry, AB Foodmarket and AB Shop n' Go. In 2006, Alfa-Beta realized EUR 1.0 billion revenues, and it employed 7,209 people.

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