Ahold, an international retail company based in The Netherlands, has entered into agreement to acquire Spar stores in the Czech Republic. The value of the deal amounts to approximately CZK 5,245 million (approx. €191 million). The acquisition has yet to be approved by ÚOHS, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition. Ahold is also to invest €50 million into the first wave of rebranding.
Spar came to former Czechoslovakia in early nineties, shortly after the Velvet Revolution. The decision to leave the Czech Republic is a logical consequence of Spar's long-term financial problems resulting in an unsustainable position on the Czech retail market. Following the strategic acquisition of Spar, Ahold will have over 330 stores in the Czech Republic. Ahold expects 30% growth of its turnover, but it will not surpass Schwarz Gruppe, the current Czech number one retailer (Kaufland and Lidl stores). Unlike in Western Europe where the top 5 chains occupy 60-80% of the retail market, in the Czech Republic the share will be around 50% even after the present acquisition.