Retail in brief | Albertsons, Oriola, Shop Apotheke Europe

Retail in brief | Albertsons, Oriola, Shop Apotheke Europe

1 March 2022 - Deborah Wilkes

  • Albertsons starts “review of potential strategic alternatives”
  • Oriola’s president and chief executive officer is leaving
  • Shop Apotheke Europe proposes new board member

Albertsons announces strategic review

US grocery chain Albertsons has announced a “review of potential strategic alternatives” with the aim of “enhancing growth and maximising shareholder value”.

Chan Galbato, co-chair of the board of directors, said the “board believes the continuing strength of our business and the scale of our portfolio of assets warrants a deep and considered review of all possible paths towards maximising value creation”.

Albertsons, which is one of the largest food and drug retailers in the US, operates under 20 banners including Acme, Albertsons, Safeway, and United Supermarkets. It is backed by an investment consortium led by Cerberus Capital Management.

Galbato pointed out that Albertsons “operates more than 2,270 stores across 34 states with growing digital and omnichannel capabilities, along with a vast dedicated manufacturing and distribution infrastructure”.

Albertsons said the review would include “an assessment of various balance sheet optimisation and capital return strategies, potential strategic or financial transactions and development of other strategic initiatives to complement Albertsons’ existing businesses, as well as responding to inquiries”.

The board of Albertsons has not set a timetable for conclusion of the review.

Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse have been retained as financial advisers.

Oriola’s chief executive officer is leaving

Oriola’s president and chief executive officer Elisa Markula is leaving the company “at the latest in August 2022”.

The Finnish company is seeking a replacement for Markula who only joined in autumn 2021 (click here to read the News story).

News of Markula’s departure comes soon after Oriola and Lithuania’s Euroapotheca announced they had agreed to merge their pharmacy businesses in Sweden (click here to read the News story).

Oriola, which operates in Sweden and Finland, plans to focus on wholesale and distribution of pharmaceuticals as well as expert services to pharmaceutical companies.

Shop Apotheke Europe proposes new board member

Shop Apotheke Europe has proposed Jaska de Bakker for election to its supervisory board at the company’s Annual General Meeting on 14 April 2022.

Noting de Bakker would be an additional member of the supervisory board, the Netherlands-based online pharmacy said the expansion was due to its “strong growth”, “continuous changes at the company and in the market”, as well as “a multitude of upcoming projects”.

Shop Apotheke Europe said de Bakker was a “proven financial expert with extensive experience in governance and ESG”.

De Bakker is a board member at Prysmian Group, the Italian company specialising in the production of cable for use in the energy and telecom sectors, and Faerch, the Danish circular food packaging company. She is also a member of the supervisory board at The Ocean Cleanup in the Netherlands.

Previously, de Bakker was group chief financial officer and executive board member at Royal FrieslandCampina and Royal HaskoningDHV, two global companies with headquarters in the Netherlands.

Shop Apotheke Europe reported sales up by 9.5% to EUR1.06 billion (USD1.20 billion) in 2021 (click here to read the News story).

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