EBRD makes equity investment in Schiever Tajikistan to open the country’s first hypermarket

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo


Schiever Tajikistan's Frédéric Lobbé (left) and the EBRD's Sir Suma Chakrabarti (centre) in Dushanbe in 2014.

Schiever Tajikistan, Auchan franchise holder for the country, previously signed a loan agreement with EBRD to finance opening of first Auchan hypermarket in Central Asia

Tajikistan’s first hypermarket is a significant step closer to opening after the EBRD became a shareholder in Schiever Tajikistan, the holder of the franchise for Auchan hypermarkets in the country.

The EBRD and Schiever extended their partnership on 30 June by signing a shareholder agreement making the EBRD a minority shareholder in Schiever Tajikistan. The EBRD will have a 34 per cent equity stake in Schiever Tajikistan.

This follows the initial EBRD loan financing agreed in November 2014, when EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti and Schiever Tajikistan’s General Manager Frédéric Lobbé signed a loan agreement to finance the opening of the country’s first hypermarket. The total financial package provided by the EBRD to Schiever Tajikistan amounts to €5 million.

Schiever Tajikistan is a subsidiary of Schiever group, the French company which partners with Auchan group in France and Poland where it operates Auchan hypermarkets. Schiever will have the Auchan master franchise for Tajikistan.

Tajikistan’s shoppers rely on expensive open-air markets and small shops for their groceries. The new, 5,000 m² hypermarket will not only bring competition and lower prices, but also new standards in food quality, hygiene and logistics. The EBRD and Schiever are also working on a programme to develop the Tajik food value chain in partnership with local suppliers.

“The EBRD is very pleased to deepen its partnership with Schiever Tajikistan,” said Gilles Mettetal, EBRD Director for Agribusiness. “The country has a significant agricultural potential, but local producers suffer from the absence of a large and modern buyer.The opening of Tajikistan’s first hypermarket is an important step forward strengthening the country’s food value chain, while also raising hygiene standards in the retail industry and improving shopping conditions for the population. We believe that this project will boost the local economy and create jobs, for the benefit of the agribusiness sector and the country as a whole.”

Schiever Tajikistan’s General Manager Frédéric Lobbé said: “The introduction of modern retail represents a revolution for Tajikistan and is going to improve the country’s food security. Our Auchan hypermarket will be a popular store for everyone, offering a large choice of quality products at affordable prices.”

To date, the EBRD has invested €360 million in Tajikistan.