Metro Group is established when various retail firms merge, notably the Metro Cash & Carry wholesale stores and Kaufhof Holding AG, which brings with it majority interests in the holding company of MediaMarkt and Saturn.
Previously comprising 16 Metro Group sales lines, the portfolio is streamlined. Following the sale of Galeria Kaufhof, Metro Group consists of just three sales lines: Metro Cash & Carry, Real and Media-Saturn.
The next logical step to enhance growth and customer focus: Metro AG announces its plans to split the group into two independent, publicly listed market leaders, each with a clear profile. It proposes pooling its consumer electronics activities within CECONOMY, and grouping its wholesale and food retail business within the newly established Metro. The aim is to give both companies better growth prospects by enabling them to concentrate on their respective industries and customer segments – with a stronger focus, faster decision-making processes, greater flexibility and improved operational efficiency.
The Management Board of Metro AG resolves to initiate the preparatory measures necessary for the Metro Group demerger. The Supervisory Board agrees to the plans.
The company is split pro forma into two separate organisational units. This step also gives the signal for the new CECONOMY management team to start work.
At the Metro Group Capital Markets Day, Metro and CECONOMY unveil their strategies as independent firms to investors for the first time. The name CECONOMY and the associated brand positioning are also presented to the public for the first time.
At the General Meeting, 99.95 per cent of the shareholders present give the go-ahead for the Metro Group split. The plan is to bring about a separate share listing for CECONOMY by floating Metro Group’s food retail business on the stock exchange as a new publicly listed company.
Recording the demerger and spin-off in the commercial register completes the Metro Group demerger, and CECONOMY officially becomes an independent company.
Following the demerger of Metro Group into two separate companies, the future CECONOMY AG will be listed independently under the new code CEC on MDAX on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange for the first time.
The future CECONOMY AG signs an agreement for the acquisition of a minority interest in the French retail company Fnac Darty S.A. The acquisition means the future CECONOMY AG holds approximately 24.33 per cent of the shares in the company, making it Fnac Darty S.A.’s biggest shareholder. The transaction was concluded on 24 August 2017.
The change of name from Metro AG to CECONOMY AG is officially entered in the commercial register in one of the final steps in the demerger process.
Through its majority interest MediaMarktSaturn, CECONOMY AG acquires a strategic 15 per cent stake in Russia’s leading consumer electronics retailer M.video, which is majority-owned by the Safmar Group. At the same time, MediaMarktSaturn transfers its entire Russia business to the group of companies.
CECONOMY decides to increase its share capital by approximately ten per cent or by approximately 32.6 million new ordinary shares. The entire share package went to the digital lifestyle provider freenet, who paid €8.50 per share as part of a private placement. The issue price of the new shares corresponds to a premium of 18 per cent on the Xetra closing price of CECONOMY ordinary shares on 28 June 2018 of €7.23. CECONOMY will use the revenue of €277 million to strengthen its statement of financial position and increase the financial capacity for the further implementation of its strategic agenda.
CECONOMY AG makes a binding agreement regarding the disposal of its directly held stake in Metro AG of approximately nine per cent. The agreement with EP Global Commerce II GmbH (“EP Global”) as the purchaser states that, as a first step, EP Global will assume an approximate 3.6 per cent stake in Metro AG from CECONOMY AG. This stake was sold at the end of September. EP Global is indirectly held by the Czech and Slovak entrepreneurs Daniel Křetínský and Patrik Tkáč. As a second step, the parties have agreed on put/call options regarding the transfer of the remaining approximately 5.4 per cent, which are expected to be exercised within nine months following the conclusion of the agreement. By completing this transaction, CECONOMY AG shall achieve the capital structure it aimed to achieve as part of the demerger by strengthening the statement of financial position through the inflow of cash and eliminating balance sheet risks from the share package.