Germany’s Ceconomy enters France with $526 million Fnac Darty stake

 In Retail Store

(Reuters) – German consumer electronics retailer Ceconomy will become the largest shareholder in French music and book retailer Fnac Darty, marking its entry into France just weeks after it was spun off from Metro.

Ceconomy said on Wednesday it signed a deal to buy a 24.33 percent stake in Fnac Darty from Artemis, a French holding company owned by Francois Henri Pinault, for around 452 million euros ($525.6 million) in cash, or 70 euros a share.

Pieter Haas, Ceconomy chief executive, said the investment allows the company to “gain exposure to the highly attractive French market and its particularly strong consumer electronics segment.”

France is one of the few major European markets where Ceconomy, which runs stores under the Media Markt and Saturn brands, has no presence.

Fnac Darty has more than 660 stores and is France’s biggest consumer electronics retailer with a market share of 23 percent, Ceconomy said.

Ceconomy is Europe’s biggest consumer electronics group, ahead of Britain’s Dixons Carphone, running more than 1,000 stores in 15 European countries, with sales of 22 billion euros in the 2015/16 financial year.

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