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Leroy Merlin strengthens pan-European presence

Leroy Merlin, the second largest DIY group in France, is going to take over the Spanish and French DIY stores of the Belgian GIB group from Vendex KBB of the Netherlands

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In this way Leroy Merlin will be able to increase its network of branches in France and on the Iberian peninsula to a total of 68 outlets. Though on condition that the European competition authorities agree to the acquisition of Brico Belgium by Vendex KBB – which includes among its operations 119 Praxis and 80 Formido stores in the Netherlands – and then to the sale of 68 DIY stores to Leroy Merlin. Vendex names a sum of 342 mio euro as the selling price for the 37 OBI stores in France (64 228 m2), the 18 Aki outlets in Spain (64 670 m2) and 12 in Portugal (44 160 m2).
Leroy Merlin is taking over the stores of the OBI marketing format in France and of AKI in Spain and Portugal.
This transaction will allow Leroy Merlin to expand its presence in Europe and further consolidate its position there. To date Leroy Merlin has 81 DIY stores in France (76 Leroy Merlin and five Bricoman outlets). With the acquisition of the 38 OBI stores the company’s total comes to 120 outlets, which will move it closer onto the heels of the market leader Castorama with its 149 outlets (106 Castorama, 43 Brico Dépôt).
In Spain, where the company already runs 22 Leroy Merlin DIY stores with an estimated total retail area of 99 170 m2, the acquisition of the 18 AKI stores will further consolidate its top position. The first Leroy Merlin is to open in Portugal this year. This together with the twelve Portuguese AKI outlets included in the GIB package means that Leroy Merlin will fill the top spot in this country immediately upon entering the market.
OBI and AKI, the two DIY marketing lines, had a turnover of 432 mio euro last year. The AKI stores in Spain notched up a sales increase of 17 per cent to 142.7 mio euro (9.5 per cent like-for-like). Sales grew by 18.6 per cent to 97.9 mio euro in Portugal. A sales loss of 1.7 per cent to 191.6 mio euro is disclosed for the French marketing line, which is attributed above all to the fire in the St. Etienne central warehouse in February 2001.
The acquisition of OBI and AKI means that Leroy Merlin can increase its consolidated sales to over 4 bn euro this year. In the 2001 financial year the group achieved gross sales of 3.7 bn euro, making it the number three in Europe and number five globally. The foreign share of group sales amounts to 31 per cent. By the end of the year the group had 21 200 employees operating 166 DIY stores in six countries. Over half (51 per cent) of the DIY stores are located outside France: in Spain (22), Belgium (six…
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