Fozzy Group, the owner of the Silpo supermarket chain, has purchased another Ukrainian store chain, Furshet, according to the Anti-Monopoly Committee (AMCU), which signed off on the deal.
Furshet’s parent company, Retail Center, recently began bankruptcy proceedings.
The companies haven’t disclosed the price of the merger and the number of stores Silpo has acquired.
According to the Furshet website, the 29-year-old chain currently consists of 25 shops. But the AMCU on Feb. 18 stated that Silpo didn’t buy Furshet stores in regions where the deal would result in Silpo’s monopoly.
The purchased stores are based in 21 Ukrainian cities, including Vinnytsia, Ivano-Frankivsk, Poltava, Truskavets, Khmelnytsky, Cherkasy, Irpin, Kyiv and Kryvyi Rih.
After the merger, the share of Silpo supermarkets will not exceed the benchmark of 30% in any of these regions, which means Silpo will not monopolize the market.
Apart from real estate, Silpo will also gain control over Furshet’s equipment.
Retail Center entered bankruptcy proceedings in January 2021. According to news website Liga, as of Feb. 22, about 150 companies have filed lawsuits against Furshet over unpaid debts, which may be in the tens of millions of hryvnias. Credit firm Finwork alone is owed Hr 7.8 million, or $280,000.
Several Ukrainian retail giants like ATB-Market, Novus and Varus wanted to buy the chain, but Silpo got the upper hand because it had already bought some Furshet stores in the past, according to experts.
Founded in 1998, Silpo now consists of 241 supermarkets operating in 60 cities in Ukraine.
Silpo’s latest acquisition may take the supermarket chain to the next level. For a long time, the chain had focused only on expanding in and around Kyiv.
Silpo is still outnumbered by its strongest rival, ATB-Market, the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in Ukraine that owns over 1,000 stores. ATB-Market opened 127 new stores in 2020.
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