Russia's X5 Retail eyes 51% stake in peer Holiday Classic


Russian food retailer X5 Retail Group (LON:FIVE) is gearing up for the purchase of a controlling stake in regional peer Holiday Classic, daily Kommersant said on Friday.


X5 plans to take a 51% stake interest in the food retailer this year and is ready to pay USD300m (EUR232) for the holding, according to the paper.


Earlier this month, the country's antitrust watchdog approved a request filed by X5's unit Agrotorg in April to gain full ownership of Holiday Classic. In particular, the subsidiary was cleared to buy 100% of the voting shares in the retailer's majority shareholder, HSR Holiday Siberiada Retailing Group Limited, giving it rights to take control of 10 of its units.

However, X5 currently plans to acquire 51% of the retailer by the end of the third quarter of 2012 and to secure an option to buy the remaining stock in late 2013 or in the beginning of 2014, Holiday Classic's co-owner Nikolai Skorokhodov said as quoted by Kommersant. Meanwhile, no official bid for the stake has been submitted yet, Skorokhodov noted.


Holiday Classic chiefly operates in the region of Novosibirsk, in southwestern Siberia. The retailer, which had 219 stores as of March, manages outlets under the Holiday Classic, Sibiriada, Kora, Palata and Turne brands.


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