FINLAND: Kesko Sells Agriculture Chain

The Kesko Group continues to divest its non-grocery operations, this time announcing the sale of its K-maatalous agriculture chain.

K-maatalous operates 78 stores across Sweden, which sell seeds, fertilisers, animal feeds and plant protection products. It generated retail sales of €424m in 2016, on operating profit of €5.3m.  The stores are managed by 43 local retailer entrepreneurs, who will continue operating under the retailer business model.

The chain is being sold to Lantmännen ek för, in an all-cash deal worth €38.5m.  Lantmännen is a Swedish agricultural cooperative and Northern Europe’s leading operator in the sector.

Kesko, which said it will record a profit of €13m, noted: “The structure of agriculture in Finland has changed significantly. The change continues and the number of farms continues to decrease. At the same time, the agricultural trade is becoming increasingly international and concentrated … In line with its strategy, Kesko will be an increasingly focused company in the future and concentrate on the Finnish grocery trade, the building and technical trade and the car trade”.