Food retailers has delivered prominent events last week.
The French retailer Carrefour announced its readiness to acquire the business of Sedmoi Kontinent, a Russian retailer, for USD1.25 billion including real estate holdings.

Sedmoi Kontinent suggested that holders of bonds (02 series) for RUB7 billion sign a loan restructuring agreement. The offer for 5-year bonds placed in 2007 will be carried out this June.

X5 Retail Group CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors Lev Khasis joined BOD of STS Media, the owner and manager of STS, Domashniy and DTV television channels.

The shareholding structure of X5 Retail Group may experience modifications, as the co-owners of Holiday Classic, the largest chain in Siberia, have agreed to exchange the business for shares in X5. The parties have already signed a statement of intent and may close the deal by summer. The transaction will give the Holiday owners, among them Viktor Vekselberg and Alexander Mamut, 5 to7% interest in X5.

Rewe Group to launch the second brand for supermarkets in Russia. All new supermarkets will open under the BIOP name rather than the Billa brand. Marta Holding has gone into administration and is not able to fund Billa expansion. The brand may be promoted only by the joint venture with Rewe’s interest. Rewe plans to resume Billa Russia expansion after purchasing the 22.5% stake that Marta holds in the joint venture.

The Turkish Ramstore chain is reportedly leaving the Niznhy Novgorod market. Enka corporation managing the Ramstore stores has terminated early the lease agreement with "Chocolate" shopping center. Analysts believe the business owners rejected to develop their product retail business in Russia. According to the experts’ statements, the applicants for the vacant shopping area will most likely include X5 Retail Group, Spar Moscow Holding and the German Rewe Group

Mobile phone retail world has been supplied with the bulk of news from Euroset, the news headliner of the recent weeks

Last week, Euroset announced filing two lawsuits to the Moscow Arbitration Court seeking to recover RUB499 million. The retailer states that it intends to recover debts worth RUB2 billion from MTS. In its turn, MTS has filed a lawsuit seeking to recover RUB272.3 million, pursuing to recover a total of RUB1.1 billion through court.

The conflict between Finnish Nokia and the largest Russian retailer Euroset has been going  for years and is now drawing towards its end. The companies intend to restore partnership relations and will likely sign a dealership agreement. The contract may boost Euroset’s share in Nokia sales to as high as 22-25%, but according to analytics, this agreement may have an adverse effect on Nokia’s market share.

Alexander Malis has been assigned the President of Euroset; he was previously leading the broadband access segment in Vimpelcom. Alexander Malis has highlighted Euroset’s key objectives: to expand the range of goods and mend relationship with all operators.

DIY field witnessed a good deal of events last week

Laverna Group announced sale of its share in Santa House chain to Hammar Invest AB, an investment fund from Sweden. The fund has purchased 75% less one share stake in Laverna, said Andrei Andryuschenko, General Director of Laverna. Ulf Lцwenhav, Managing Director of Hammar Invest AB, clarified that the transaction is funded by Mountbrook AB.

START, a St. Petersburg-based DIY chain owned by Zakhar Smushkin, the owner of ILIM Pulp, a pulp and paper production corporation, is reportedly in negotiations to buy Stroyformat LLC (the operator of Metrica DIY chain). The deal, as stated by the parties, will be closed by the end of this year. Experts have valued Metrica’s business at USD100 to 110 million.

Torsten Fogt, CEO OBI Russia, said that by late 2009 OBI is to launch 3 hypermarkets: in Omsk, Volgograd and Krasnodar. He shared this news at the official opening of OBI hypermarket in Omsk.

In the face of the crisis, retail world proceeds with new projects.
A good example here is Amadeo, a children’s wear distributor from Poland, launching its own retail chain. The company has by now opened three stores and intends to develop its chain via franchise.

Kirill Novikov, co-owner of Expert chain, and his partner Vladimir Melnikov, commercial director of the same chain, intend to launch a second-hand store chain under the brand name "Komok" to sell used goods. The first store will come into operation in May on Skladochnaya Street in Moscow. The four main show-rooms covering the area of 2000 sq. m. will host over 5000 items in the categories "home appliances", "electronics", "computers", "furniture", "lighting equipment", "sports", "for kids", "tools" and "gardening equipment". The initiators pursue to open at least four more stores in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg by end 2010.

Big retailers have always deliberately selected development-focus areas, which is especially true during crisis

The big retailers have proved to pin their hopes on Togliatti: in April the new Castorama hypermarket will open its next store in this city, and Media Markt will come in September.

The Mir consumer electronics chain has rejected its plan to expand in the south of Russia, as the top managers find this region uninviting for development now, in terms of the crisis. Mir had scheduled opening a new store in Rostov-na-Donu in 2009, launching 10 new stores overall in the south of Russia in 2010-2012.  According to some experts, the decision not to expand in the southern region might have been caused by high competition in the local market.

Another consumer electronics retailer Media Markt has scheduled to open 5 to 8 stores in Russia in 2009. As of today it has executed contracts on 5 stores to be opened in Moscow, Samara, Togliatti, Kazan and St. Petersburg.

The digest was prepared by Retailer.RU and was translated by iTrex company. Itrex is a translation bureau. It offers written and oral translation, notary certification and a lot more. Itrex does work with every language: European, Eastern languages and others. Itrex  does work with every topic: technical, legal, financial, business, etc.

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