EBRD invests in leading supermarket and convenience chain in Romania

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca

EBRD invests in leading supermarket and convenience chain in Romania

Profi is the fastest-growing food retail operator in Romania.

Investment supports Profi Rom Food’s expansion in Romania

The EBRD is joining forces with Mid Europa Partners to strengthen Romania’s leading and fastest-growing supermarket and convenience chain Profi Rom Food S.R.L. by providing a €25 million equity investment.

Profi operates around 523 stores in more than 272 localities throughout Romania. The EBRD’s financing will support a further expansion of the network, particularly into the country’s smaller towns.

Mid Europa Partners, a private equity firm focused on central and south-eastern Europe, acquired 100 per cent of the shares in Profi Rom Food from Polish Enterprise Fund VI in November last year. Mid Europa Partners is a leading buyout investor with over €4.6 billion of funds raised and managed since inception and is a long-standing partner of the EBRD.

Matteo Patrone, EBRD Regional Director for Romania and Bulgaria, said: “With our support, Profi will open hundreds of new stores in both big and small localities of Romania, offering customers the opportunity to shop for affordable food in convenient locations while boosting the local economy and creating jobs. Extending the outreach will not only benefit customers but also local producers who will have more options to sell their excellent products.”

Miljan Zdrale, EBRD Head of Agribusiness for central, south and eastern Europe, said: “Developing modern retail is a key element in raising economic performance and living standards. We strongly support the emergence of strong local players in EBRD countries of operations and stand ready to provide our funding as well as our expertise.”

This new financing follows a previous €25 million EBRD loan which supported the company’s growth through improved competitiveness. Competitiveness is one of the six transition qualities the EBRD has identified in its approach to the countries where it invests, with green, resilience, governance, integration and inclusion the other key elements.

Andrej Babache, Director of Mid Europa, added: "We are pleased to welcome the EBRD as a partner in our investment in Profi and we look forward to working with them to further grow Profi’s reach in Romania. A significant part of the planned expansion targets smaller localities, which we believe will benefit local communities, both through job creation as well as provision of groceries at affordable prices. We are also excited by the opportunity to support the management in continuation of this successful story.”

Daniel Cirstea, CEO of Profi Rom Food, said: "Profi has a proven track record of gaining new customers by offering fresh products at affordable prices in modern stores around the country. The company is in excellent shape and has great potential to grow in the years to come across Romania, including into smaller localities. We are pleased that the EBRD is joining Profi’s shareholder group led by Mid Europa and look forward to leveraging their know-how in developing businesses across the CEE region."

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Romania, with investments of more than €7.3 billion in 384 projects to date. In addition, the Bank has mobilised more than €14 billion in investment from other sources of financing in Romania alone.