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Kesko to divest department store chain Anttila

RBR Staff Writer Published 17 March 2015

Finnish retailing conglomerate Kesko has agreed to divest its loss-making department store chain Anttila Oy to the German investment fund 4K Invest.

kesko

The move is expected to allow the company to raise its profits this year.

Commenting on the sale, Kesko chief financial officer Jukka Erlund was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We are satisfied, this will improve our profitability and enables focusing of our business."

The sale includes all assets and liabilities in Anttila Oy, which currently operates 23 Anttila department stores, eight Kodin1 department stores, online stores NetAnttila.com and Kodin1.com in Finland, subsidiaries in Estonia and Latvia, as well as the company's central functions in Finland.

Upon completion of the sale, Anttila's 1,500 employees will continue to work as usual and its stores will continue to operate.

Kesko president and CEO Mikko Helander said: "The transaction is fully in line with our ambition to be a more focused operator.

"The enhancement measures we introduced last year to improve Anttila's profitability have progressed as planned and the transaction which has now been decided will provide a good basis for the development of Anttila's operations."

As reported in Reuters, Kesko also plans to sell its stores in Finland and Sweden to a new real estate joint venture, a move that could fetch the company around €670m.


Image: Kesko has about 2,000 stores engaged in chain operations in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. Photo: courtesy of Kesko 2015.