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    French ‘Boulanger’ buys out Belgian appliances retailer

    © Belga

    Krëfel, the Belgian domestic and electrical appliances retailer, has been bought by its French-owned competitor, Boulanger, for an undisclosed sum.

    Krëfel, established in 1958, now has 54 stores across Belgium; the company also owns 11 HiFi International stores in Luxembourg, which come as part of the takeover package. Krëfel employs 1,350 people, and had sales of 400 million euros at the last count.

    French-owned Boulanger, meanwhile, has 154 stores across France, and the takeover is part of its plan to expand internationally. Boulanger in France competes against the group Darty, which owns Vanden Borre, a direct competitor for Krëfel on the Belgian market.

    The Krëfel brand will continue to exist, and the company will implement its own marketing strategy on the Belgian market, according to Boulanger’s business development director Denis Boschard, speaking to news agency Belga. The takeover will involve no store closures and no loss of staff, he said.

    Boschard described the relationship between the two companies as “complementary” rather than competitive. “The two groups, each with family origins, have a common DNA,” he said. “The three brands will each continue to exist on their own territory.”

    Krëfel will also retain its current board, although Boschard is likely to take a seat for himself. In return, a member of the Poulet family that owned Krëfel and HiFi International will sit on the Boulanger board. “We are very happy to be able to count on their experience,” Boschard said.

    The takeover still requires the approval of competition authorities.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times