The Basque distribution group Eroski announced this Monday the signing of an agreement to sell half of its subsidiary Supratuc 2000, under which it operates supermarkets Caprabo and Cecosa, the Czech holding company EP Corporate Group, owned by Daniel Kretinsky, one of the great fortunes of the country.
As the company has announced, he joins himself as a “joint partner”, and in this way “The partner search process that began at the end of 2019 ends in order to strengthen the financial structure of the group and strengthen its position in both regions. “During this process they have been interested companies such as Bon Preu, which in February decided to withdraw of the operation.
The acquisition, of which no figures have been communicated, “allows Eroski to improve its financial position and to consider the debt repayment commitment set for the end of this year, in an amount greater than that committed to financial institutions, and will promote the relaunch of investments and activity in Catalonia with the Caprabo brand and in the Balearic Islands with the Eroski brand “, says the Basque company in a The closing of the operation is subject to the approval of the regulators.
The company chaired by Agustín Markaide had to face a first payment to its creditor banks at the end of this year of 350 million euros, as agreed in 2019 after undertaking a refinancing of its debt. These urged him to divest part of his non-essential businesses to amortize liabilities before maturity, in 2024.
As published Five days On March 18, Eroski’s intention, once the sale of part of Caprabo is completed, is to undertake a new refinancing. Its debt at the end of 2020 was 1,300 million euros
“Without a doubt, with the agreement reached today, we have completed this process with more capabilities. In the first place, because it allows us to strengthen our resources and increase our investment capacity; as well as to comply with the debt repayment commitments, as we have been doing from time to time. In addition, it is a stimulus for the confidence of EP Corporate Group in our future project, since this agreement starts with a management and development plan accepted by both parties, which will allow the consolidation of our markets, the reinforcement of our commercial position and its profitability ”, has detailed the president of Eroski, Agustín Markaide, in a statement. The company has had the advice of PwC Corporate Finance, Banco Santander, Deloitte Financial Advisory and Deloitte Legal. EPCG has been advised by EY.
The Czech group owned by Daniel Kretinsky, it has a turnover of more than 10,000 million euros per year and is specialized, above all, in the energy, infrastructure and media sectors. It has interests in food distribution in Europe, such as Metro, Casino Guichard Perrachon and Britain’s Sainsbury’s.
“This transaction marks an important step for EP Corporate Group. We are excited to accompany Eroski in its business in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, where strong brands operate with very attractive potential. We value their organization and fully support their expansion plan in these markets. We hope to contribute our experience and resources to enhance its development ”, said the CEO of EP Global Commerce, Marco Arcelli.
The Czech magnate Daniel Kretinsky (Brno, 1975), Caprabo’s new co-owner, amasses a fortune valued at 4,000 million dollars according to Forbes calculations, which places him in position 565 on its list of billionaires. A wealth that he has generated above all through the energy sector with the company EPH, of which he is CEO and owner.
However, their investments span a variety of sectors. In retail, in addition to Caprabo, it has stakes in the German Metro and the British Sainsbury’s. It also made a short-lived entry into the American company Macy’s, of which it acquired 5%. A month later, and coinciding with a rise in the shares, he sold most of his stake obtaining a capital gain that was estimated at about 36 million dollars.
It has also invested in a sector such as the media. In 2019, it acquired a stake in the French newspaper Le Monde. In addition, he also has an interest in soccer. He is an investor and president of the Czech Sparta Prague.