German retailer Billa bought its Russian competitor “Ya Lyubimyj”


Rewe group’s chain of supermarkets “Billa” bought a chain of stores “Ya Lyubimyj”, told two sources familiar with the plans of the company.

Negotiations with Billa have been going on since last fall, knows another source. According to him, the owners of the network “Ya Lyubimyj” were ready to sell it in its entirety only. Therefore, it is sure, that if the deal is closed, then Billa is the only buyer.

Negotiations were also underway with X5 Retail Group, says another source. They also added that the experiment to create co-branded stores with the network “Ya Lyubimyj” was completed on the initiative of X5. The last co-branded store with the sign “Ya Lyubimyj Perekrestok” was closed in mid-February 2018, said a representative of the company. The pilot project “Ya Lyubimyj Perekrestok” lasted a little more than a year, it was originally implemented by six stores.

Network of shops “Ya Lyubimyj” was founded in 2010. It is managed by CJSC Amatus. According to SPARK-Interfax, the company is equally owned by Rosina Holdings S. A and Endigo Industries S. A., both registered in the British Virgin Islands.

According to Forbes, the supermarket chain “Ya Lyubimyj” is part of “Ilar” of Ilya Evdokimov and Armen Simonyan. CEO of the company — Gayane Vardanyan.

Nevertheless, the General Director of Amatus CJSC (the head company of the retailer) Gayane Vardanyan in an official letter denied that Amatus CJSC is a member of any group or affiliated with Ilya Evdokimov and Armen Simonyan.

As of March 31, 2018, the network “Ya Lyubimyj” ran 25 supermarkets in Moscow and Moscow region with a total sales floor area of about 30.9 thousand sq.m. in 2017, the network’s revenue increased by about 1.3% to 10 billion rubles without VAT.

As of March 31, 2018, the Billa network includes 128 supermarkets in Moscow, Moscow region and the cities of the Central Federal district with a total sales floor area of about 111.5 thousand square meters.

Despite the fact that tYa Lyubimyj” network has a significant amount of debt, the owners wanted to sell it for about 3.5 billion rubles., knows the source in investment circles.

If the network is sold as a whole, then the amount of the transaction could amount to 3-4 billion rubles excluding debt. It is a great success for the owners to sell the whole network and, moreover, to close the deal with the premium, which is higher than the debt, especially in the current conditions. The facilities are located in residential areas near metro stations and residential areas. Such premises allow to generate high traffic and revenue.

Supermarkets Billa announced plans to open at least 10 supermarkets per year: so, in 2017 12 new supermarkets were opened in Moscow and Moscow region, in January-March 2018—six stores.

Starting from the second quarter of 2017 and up to the first quarter of 2018, inclusive, the Network “Ya Lyubimyj” had operational problems that led to a deterioration in the range of fresh products and, accordingly, to reduction of competitiveness and traffic. Moreover, since the third quarter of 2017, the network had negative LFL (comparable sales), so the sale of the business as a whole was expected. The cost of the transaction for the transfer of the pool of long-term lease agreements did not exceed 600 million rubles.

In 2017, one supermarket was opened and three supermarkets of the network were closed in Moscow and Lyubertsy near Moscow. In January-March 2018, two supermarkets “Ya Lyubimyj Perekrestok”were closed.

According to the files of arbitration cases, since the beginning of 2018, 74 claims for 169 million rubles have been filed against the retailer, which are mainly related to non-fulfillment of obligations under supply contracts.

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