Retail in brief | Morrisons, Phoenix, Felicia

Retail in brief | Morrisons, Phoenix, Felicia

24 June 2021 - Deborah Wilkes

Wm Morrison Supermarkets has rejected a takeover bid from a private-equity firm, Phoenix has released financial results, and Gedeon Richter is divesting its wholesale and retail operations in the Republic of Moldova to Felicia.

Private-equity bid for Morrisons

Wm Morrison Supermarkets has rejected a GBP5.5 billion (USD7.7 billion) takeover offer from private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.

The UK-based supermarket chain said the “unsolicited, highly conditional, non-binding” proposal “significantly undervalued Morrisons and its future prospects”.

Under UK takeover rules, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice now has until 17 July 2021 to announce a firm intention to make an offer or walk away.

There is speculation that the move could lead to offers from other potential buyers.

Morrisons is the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket chain with nearly 500 stores. In the 12 months ended 31 January 2021, the retailer reported sales of GBP17.6 billion and pre-tax profits before exceptional items of GBP201 million.

Phoenix reports first-quarter results

Germany’s Phoenix reported revenue up by 1.0% to EUR7.31 billion (USD8.70 billion) in the three months ended 30 April 2021.

After adjusting for currency translations, the rise was 0.6% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Phoenix said its total operating performance – comprising revenue plus handling for service charge – had risen by 0.9% to EUR9.31 billion. Adjusted for currency translations, the rise was 0.3%.

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) declined by 20.3% to EUR135 million. Adjusted for one-off effects, EBITDA was up by 5.8% to EUR167 million.

The company’s retail business operates more than 2,800 of its own pharmacies in 14 countries. Around 1,500 of these operate under the BENU brand.

Countries where Phoenix operates pharmacies include the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the UK.

The pharmaceutical wholesale business has 161 distribution centres in 27 European countries.

Gedeon Richter selling to Felicia

Gedeon Richter is divesting its wholesale and retail operations in the Republic of Moldova to the Felicia group of companies for an undisclosed sum.

The Hungarian pharmaceutical company said it was the majority owner of both operations and would receive approximately 62% of the purchase price.

The Felicia pharmacy chain has more than 130 commercial points in Moldova and a market share of 18.9%.

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