The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has acquired a 25.5% stake in a group running Belarus’ largest chain of supermarkets specialising in children’s goods, West Ost Union Commercial Industrial Group JLLC.
The investment will provide the company with working capital and funds to realise the group’s expansion plans.
Founded in 2006, WOU runs a growing retail chain of 12 modern supermarkets spread throughout the country under the trademark Buslik (little stork in Belarussian).
WOU supermarkets operate in Minsk, Gomel, Brest and Mogilev, and smaller regional centres. The company wants to have a chain of up to 25 stores by 2013.
Commenting on the deal, Sergey Misiachenko, WOU’s director-general, said: “This financing is very important because it will support our expansion plans. We are aiming to keep our strong customer service focus and react to changes such as the entry of strategic players into the market”.
The financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.