(Reuters) – Turkey’s Anadolu Group has offered to buy a 40.25 percent stake in supermarket chain Migros, marking a new growth area for the conglomerate and lifting the retailer’s shares more than 10 percent.
Migros shares rose to as high as 21.05 lira at the open of trade in Istanbul and were up 7.59 percent at 20.55 lira by 0714 GMT.
Migros said in a statement to the Istanbul stock exchange late on Thursday that Anadolu had offered private equity group BC Partners 26 lira ($11.44) per share. This is a premium of 36 percent to Migros closing share price on Thursday, giving it a market capitalization of 3.4 billion Turkish lira ($1.5 billion).
Anadolu Group has interests from finance and automotive to beverages – it markets beer and soft drinks in 14 countries including Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – but so far has had no assets in food retail.
“We see Migros as a business which could grow our business in Turkey and in countries in the region. This initiative should be read as a strategy to grow in a new sector,” Tuncay Ozilhan, Chairman of Anadolu Group, told Reuters.
“Our interest is not about creating a distribution channel for the shrinking beer business. Migros has a 4 percent share in (Anadolu beer unit) Efes sales, such a high amount would not be paid for this.”
Both sides had started exclusive talks, Migros said, adding that if the deal reached a conclusion both Anadolu and BC would have equal control of Migros. The offer was made by Anadolu Industry, the group’s holding company.
London-based BC Partners, which owns about 80 percent of Migros, has been in informal talks to sell the chain for years but a slowdown in the Turkish economy and a fall in value of the lira against the dollar made a deal difficult.
BC Partners bought Migros in 2008 for $3.25 billion with the help of Turkish buyout firm Turkven and Italy’s DeA Capital , beating a bid by larger rival Blackstone and Croatian food group Agrokor.