BUSINESS IN SHORT

New owner for Carrefour retail chain in Slovakia

THE FRANCHISE to operate the Carrefour retail chain in Slovakia changed hands on March 1, according to the SITA newswire. The hypermarket chain is now run by a consortium of companies comprising ECM Group and ICS. Its four hypermarkets will continue under the Carrefour brand, based on a franchising agreement. The companies did not reveal the value of the transaction.

THE FRANCHISE to operate the Carrefour retail chain in Slovakia changed hands on March 1, according to the SITA newswire. The hypermarket chain is now run by a consortium of companies comprising ECM Group and ICS. Its four hypermarkets will continue under the Carrefour brand, based on a franchising agreement. The companies did not reveal the value of the transaction.

ECM Group project manager Roman Kotecký regards the Slovak market as very promising.

"We are therefore very happy that we managed to purchase the Carrefour hypermarkets, or, more specifically, the franchise that entitles us to continue operating under the Carrefour brand, along with all the advantages that the large network of this global company offers," said Kotecký.

The consortium ECM-ICS entered the competition to take over the stores at the end of 2006, when the Slovak Antitrust Office (PMÚ) refused to allow Carrefour and Tesco in Slovakia to merge because such a deal would have strengthened significantly the already influential position of Tesco in the market.

PMÚ authorised the takeover by ECM-ICS of the Carrefour stores on January 29, 2008.

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