Metro goes to Sligro, Makro future still undecided

Tim Harrup

There has been a major move in the wholesale element of the food retailing segment in Belgium. Sligro Food Group with its associate for this deal Van Zon, is set to take over nine Metro outlets (its retail portfolio) along with the head office, and thus become the largest food wholesaler in Belgium.

This transaction, which has just received the green light from the Antwerp trade tribunal, will see Sligro, for a payment of 47 million Euros, take over nine of the eleven outlets. These are Antwerp South, Wevelgem, Liège, Hasselt, Middelkerke, Namur, Wavre-Sainte-Catherine, Brussels and Forest, with Antwerp North not being part of the deal However, Sligro is to take on the employees of this branch, which will close, while the Evergem branch will go to food service market wholesaler Van Zon. Just over 500 employees will be retained in the Sligro transaction.

There were several potential buyers presenting their positions to the court, which decided that the Sligro Van-Zon offer represented the best future for the units. No satisfactory solution was considered to have been made for Makro, the wholesale retailer which is part of the same group. The court therefore came to no final decision as to the future of Makro.

Sligro Food Group Belgium, founded in 1935 and based in Rotselaar, describes itself as bringing together enterprises from the food sector which trade with the professional food retailing market in Belgium.