Supermarket chain sold in Turkey after firm's promise to sell rival's beer

Supermarket chain sold in Turkey after firm's promise to sell rival's beer

Hülya Güler - ISTANBUL
Supermarket chain sold in Turkey after firms promise to sell rivals beer The Competition Board has approved a “conditional” sale of a 40 percent stake in retail chain Migros in Turkey, after a complaint filed by Tuborg, the group’s competitor in the brewery sector, upon competitiveness principles, according to sources. 

After several negotiations in the last seven months, the group has vowed to offer a shelf guarantee to Tuborg and has then been qualified to finalize the acquisition as of July 9. The official signature ceremony will be held on July 15. 

Anadolu Group has been a big player in the brewery markets of Russia and Central Asian countries as well as Turkey with its Anadolu Efes unit. The group made the official offer to acquire the Migros stakes in 2014, but it waited about seven months to finally receive the approval of the Competition Board. 

According to the board’s official decision, a conditional approval was given to the group. Sources said the authority had asked the group to give guarantees to preserve the commercial rights of its competitor, Tuborg, in all Migros branches, after the latter’s application to the board. Anadolu Group received the board’s approval after it vowed to offer the mentioned guarantees to Tuborg, sources added. 

Migros also will not share any financial or commercial information about Anadolu Group’s rival companies with the latter, as Anadolu Group has promised.

There are around 1,200 Migros branches across Turkey. Anadolu Group has been active in beverage retail sector through its “Ekomini” brand in around 1,000 small shops. After the group’s offer to buy 40.25 percent of stakes in Migros for 1.8 billion Turkish Liras, sector representatives said Anadolu Group would further strengthen sale channels for its products. 

Anadolu Group Chairman Tuncay Özilhan rejected these claims, saying, “Only 4 percent of Efes sales are made in Migros branches. It would be inappropriate for us to pay that much money just to sell more Efes beer. We just want to grow in a new sector.” 

London-based BC Partners, a private equity group, bought 50.83 percent of Migros from Turkish Koç Holding in 2008 and gradually increased its stakes to 80.51 percent. As the review process of the Competition Board extended, the sale price would be revised, according to an earlier statement. The final price is expected to be announced soon. 

Some 19.45 percent of Migros stakes are currently publicly-traded.