Hema bought by Belgian investor: report

Hema distribution center
Hema's distribution center in Lage Weide, Utrecht (photo: Japiot/Wikimedia). (Hema's distribution center in Lage Weide, Utrecht (photo: Japiot/Wikimedia))

Retail chain Hema is being bought by Belgian investment company Core Equity Holding. The Belgian investor is buying the chian from British Lion Capital, which has been trying to get rid of Hema for some time, the Telegraaf reports based on anonymous sources.

According to the newspaper, Core Equity Holding and Lion Capital have an oral agreement, but it will still be a few weeks before the deal is done. A source told Financieele Dagblad that Core Equity is paying around 1 billion euros for Hema, including te chain's debts. 

Lion Capital bought Hema in 2007. In 2010 the investment company tried to sell Hema for the first time, but failed. In September 2017, Lion Capital again put Hema up for sale. 

FD reports that several parties already dropped out of possibly buying Hema, because the asking price was too high and Lion Capital's predictions of Hema's recovery were too rosy. Hema has been struggling for years. Last year the company suffered a net loss of 30 million euros, and the year before a loss of 26.2 million euros.