Buyers from French-based retailer Fnac-Darty and Germany’s Ceconomy remain competitors at this year’s IFA, despite Ceconomy’s financial investment in Fnac-Darty.
CECONOMY, Metro Group’s former consumer electronics division containing Media Markt and Saturn, has acquired 24.33 % of Fnac Darty’s shares from Artémis, owned by France’s Pinault family – making it the largest stake in the company. Artémis has been “at the helm” of the group since 1994, but are reported to have decided to sell out following the recent departure of former CEO Alexandre Bompard – who has taken the top position at Carrefour.
Fnac Darty has a turnover of more than €7bn, and with 660 stores, is France’s biggest electronics retailer. CECONOMY is reported to be paying €452m, or €70 a share.
Pieter Haas, Chief Executive Officer of CECONOMY said the financial investment in Fnac Darty was a great opportunity for CECONOMY for two reasons: “First, we gain exposure to the highly attractive French market and its particularly strong consumer electronics segment; and, second, it delivers on our ambition to further strengthen our position as the leading European platform for Consumer Electronics-related businesses, brands and concepts. This move marks a dream start of CECONOMY as an independent company after the demerger of the Metro Group. The management team of Fnac Darty, led by Enrique Martinez and Matthieu Malige, have successfully integrated Fnac and Darty to a strong player that is greatly appreciated by consumers in Europe. Our investment in the Group will enable us to be part of Fnac Darty’s success story going forward.”
Until now, CECONOMY had no foothold in France, and the purchase will enable them to appoint three board members, giving the group a strong base in the French market, which it considers to be “very lucrative”.
“On behalf of every Fnac Darty employee, I would like to thank the Pinault family for their unrelenting support to our brands and Fnac in particular”, Fnac Darty chairman Jacques Veyrat said. “Our group would not be what it is today without the family. I am also happy with our new shareholder, Ceconomy, who will help support our group’s development.”
Enrique Martinez, Chief Executive Officer of Fnac Darty echoed, “At a time when Fnac Darty has laid the foundations for its new Group, with solid governance in place, and rapidly progressing results and integration, we welcome the arrival of CECONOMY – a new shareholder willing to support and accompany the strategy set out by our Group and the teams who execute it”.
Photo: Pieter Haas CEO, CECONOMY