ITALY: Esselunga Drops Sale Plans – For Now

Esselunga, Italy’s fourth-largest and most profitable supermarket chain, has said it has currently decided to put on hold plans for the sale of the company.  The decision was taken by the company’s board, which had decided not to “proceed, as things stand”.

The future of the chain was up in the air following the death of co-founder and owner, Bernardo Caprotti, last week.  Caprotti had begun talks with private equity funds earlier this year, with reports speculating a deal could be worth up to €6bn.

According to Caprotti’s will, control of Esselunga has been given to his second wife and their daughter, who now have a combined 70% stake in holding company Supermarkets Italiani.  The two children from his first marriage, Giuseppe Caprotti and Violetta Caprotti, will receive a 15% stake each.