Mexican supermarket chain Comercial Mexicana has agreed to sell most of its stores to its rival Soriana for 39.19 billion pesos ($2.66 billion), the two companies said on Wednesday.
Comercial Mexicana, known locally as Comerci, said the sale of 160 stores, including the low-price Mega and Bodega Comercial Mexicana formats, will allow it to focus on its other brands where it sees greater growth opportunities.
Comerci, which first said it was exploring a sale in January 2014, will be left with just 40 stores. It will keep its upmarket, higher-margin retail formats such as City Market, and some other assets that contribute around 22 percent of its revenue.
It will spin off those assets into a new company, allowing Soriana to make an offer to buy the rest of Comerci, subject to competition and stock exchange approvals.
The deal will give Mexico’s No. 2 supermarket Soriana, which had 664 stores at the end of the third quarter, rights to Comerci branding for two years, use of technology systems for three years and 21,300 employees.
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Soriana said the new stores would lift its total sales by 37 percent.
Market leader Wal-Mart de Mexico, Mexico’s largest retailer, had 2,225 stores in Mexico at the end of September.
($1 = 14.7212 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Kenneth Maxwell)