Today, a Czech-and-Slovak private equity company, Penta Investments (Penta), agrees with AIG Global Investment Group and Switalski & Synowie on the acquisition of Zabka Polska S.A. (Zabka), the largest independent convenience store chain in Poland. The transaction value exceeds PLN 500 million.
Zabka was established in 1999, and in the eight years of its operation has become a real business success story. Zabka sells food, beverages and services such as GSM card recharging, bill payments and lottery products. The stores operate with an average selling area of 80 sqm. In its Poznan headquarters, the company employs 300 people and all over Poland it cooperates with approximately 1,800 agents, who operate the stores. The network of the current 1,800 stores in Poland is expected to grow to 2,500 in the next five years. In 2006, Zabka recorded sales of PLN 1.24 billion, earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortization of PLN 45.5 million.
"This acquisition is in line with Penta’s investment strategy of further expansion into other Central and Eastern European countries. We already operate two companies in Poland: Profesjonal bookmakers, a network of 400 betting shops, and Dr. Max, a chain of 30 pharmacies. Zabka fits into our portfolio of existing and planned retail projects in Poland perfectly as we see a clear potential for synergies," says Marek Dospiva, Partner of Penta.
"We like the unique business model of Zabka, its strong market position and the positive perception that it receives from its customers. We will support the existing management team to further grow the network in Poland and abroad. For us, Zabka is a retail network that we want to intensely develop in Poland as well as use as a platform that will serve us to expand in other CEE countries. We intend to launch the pilot expansion projects in the Czech Republic and Slovakia as soon as we finalize the feasibility market studies," comments Jozef Janov, Investment Director of Penta, who is responsible for the project.
"We are looking forward to growing Zabka with such a strong partner as Penta. In Poland, we are going to focus on further improving and expanding our product and service offerings available to our customers. By expanding our store network in the entire country, we will become closer to every household in Poland. In addition, the entire management team, who has long-term experience in the Polish retail market, is keen on launching challenging expansion projects that will create a pan-Central European network from Zabka," explains Jacek Roszyk, Zabka’s CEO.
The sale process, organized by CAG, the Warsaw-based investment adviser, started early this year. Penta won the tender by submitting the best offer from among several Polish and international strategic and financial investors.