ICA, Sweden’s market leader in groceries, announced Wednesday that more than half of the ICA Group’s portfolio companies are for sale. ICA only wishes to keep the textile and home interior chain Hemtex and online business Inkclub.
”We think they will contribute to our core business”, CEO Per Strömberg says.
This means Cervera and ICA group’s share in Kjell & Company probably will get new owners.
The ICA group was formed this spring after Ahold selling their 60 % share in ICA to companion Hakon Invest. Public Hakon Invest then switched name to ICA group and started an evaluation of the five portfolio companies.
The fifth is Forma Publishing Group (Forma Holding with subsidiares) which was for sale already in 2012. Only subsidiares of Forma was sold then, but today ICA group announced that Forma Books had been sold to swedish Massolit Media for 19 MSEK. Forma Magazines, with magazine titles including the ICA-name, is now the only major part left of Forma.
”In some way, you can say the sales process has already started”, Per Strömberg told the media at a telephone conference.
So ICA group’s conclusion is that Forma, Kjell & Company and Cervera may be divested, while Hemtex and Inkclub are assessed as having the potential to contribute to the core business and will therefore be retained with unchanged ownership.
“In parallel with our evaluation of the portfolio companies we have developed a new non-food strategy. Non-food is a key complement to our grocery offering and an area in which we see opportunities for growth.”, Per Strömberg also said.
The strategy for non-food is primarily intended to strengthen the competitiveness of the ICA Group’s hypermarket concept ICA Maxi and of a future online offering, previously announced to be launched in 2014.
Hemtex and the ICA chain has already joined forces for purchasing and so will Inkclub and ICA do. Inkclub will also contribute with online knowledge. Ica.se is already the most visited grocery chain online in Sweden.
Hemtex has been a tough turnaround for ICA Group/Hakon Invest while Inkclub’s been an online star for years.
But the big star in the portfolio is the joint venture Kjell & Company with a growing turnover and profit. Cervera has not made a profit for years.