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Germany’s retail giant Rewe has increased its stake in Palink, the owner of Lithuania’s largest supermarket chain Iki from 55.58 percent to 93.75 percent, Palink said on Wednesday.
Palink CEO Gerard Rog unveiled plans to open 20 new Iki stores and renovate some 50 existing ones in the next two years. Iki currnetly holds a 16 percent market share in Lithuania and is the country’s second-biggest retail chain after Maxima. “We are convinced that this step will further strengthen the position of the Iki retail chain in Lithuania and will help ensure even greater customer and employee satisfaction,” Janusz Kulik, a member of the board at Rewe International, was quoted as saying in the press release. “The new investment shows that we are moving in the right direction and have a high potential,” Rog said. Unilec, a E. Leclerc company, remains the Lithuanian chain’s second shareholder.
The Rewe Group has been a shareholder of Palink since 2008. Iki launched operations in Lithuania in 1991 and now owns 233 stores across the country. The Lithuanian Competition Council earlier this year blocked Rimi Lietuva’s 213-million-euro acquisition of Iki, saying that the former chain had failed to divest 17 stores within half a year, a condition for finalizing the deal.