* Bain, BC Partners in second round of Dutch grocery auction
* Rival retailers Jumbo, Sperwer Holding picked to bid again
* Sale could fetch up to 1 bln euros for seller CVC -sources
By Simon Meads
LONDON, Nov 2 Two private equity firms are
squaring up against domestic retailers in the 1 billion euro
($1.4 billion) race to buy the Netherlands' number two
supermarket chain C1000, people familiar with the situation
Bain and BC Partners have been taken into the
second round of the sale process, where they face Dutch groups
including Jumbo and Sperwer Holding, owner of the Plus
supermarket brand, two of the people said.
Another unnamed local rival is into the second phase of the
auction, the people said.
C1000's private equity owner CVC is hoping the
chain, which has a market share of about 12 percent, will fetch
900 million to 1 billion euros, the people added.
While interested in bolstering its dominant position in the
Netherlands, Ahold , owner the Albert Heijn grocery
chain, is unable to acquire the business because of competition
issues, two of the people said.
Dutch food group Sligro , which supplies
large-scale caterers and restaurant chains as well as operating
the EMTE supermarket brand, had been eyeing C1000, according to
The groups named either declined to comment or were
unavailable for comment.
CVC bought Ahold's 73 percent stake in C1000 parent group
Schuitema in 2008 in a deal valuing the business at 950 million
Should a sale fail to meet its targets, CVC could opt to
recapitalise the supermarket group instead, bankers previously
The private equity contenders in the sale face a tough
market for financing large deals and the prospect of fierce
competition from the Dutch grocery groups who are keen to make
inroads into Ahold's 30 percent plus market share.
Jumbo beat Sperwer to buy the Super de Boer supermarket
chain two years ago for 550 million euros, when France's Casino
exited the market. It then agreed to sell 80 stores to
C1000 in a side deal.
Both Jumbo and C1000 operate a largely franchise model,
targeting the budget end of the grocery market.
C1000 has some 400 stores, of which 380 are operated under
franchise and 20 are directly owned. The bulk of its business,
which generates some 4 billion euros a year, according to CVC's
website, is as a wholesaler to the franchised estate.
CVC sold C1000's six logistics facilities to investment firm
W.P. Carey earlier this year for 155 million euros in a
sale and leaseback deal.