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French retailer Decathlon’s business in Russia may be worth up to $246 mln — experts

Per the consultants, the French retailer now has over 20 properties in Russia

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. The Russian business of the French sporting goods retailer Decathlon may be worth 15-17 billion rubles ($216-246 mln), consultants in the commercial real estate market told TASS. According to them, Russian industry retail players, as well as developers could be interested in buying the network's assets.

Earlier, RBC wrote that Decathlon had begun looking for a buyer for its assets in Russia. TASS sources in the commercial real estate market confirmed these plans.

"It looks like the company has decided to sell its assets. We’ve seen interest in looking for buyers for some of the group’s assets before. Now it seems that we are talking about the whole portfolio. According to preliminary estimates, the company's business may be worth about 15-17 billion rubles," head of the retail real estate department of the Commonwealth Partnership (CMWP) Olga Antonova told TASS.

According to her, it is worth considering the requirements of the governmental commission for approving deals with international players from unfriendly countries. Per the consultants, the French retailer now has over 20 properties in Russia.

Russian players - retailers and professional retail funds may be interested in Decathlon's assets, says Marina Malakhatko, Senior Director, Head of the CORE.XP Retail Department. Considering that the French retailer has a rather interesting portfolio of real estate in Russia (the Group owns freestanding hypermarkets), developers can also act as buyers, she added.

"Of course, one can assume that Turkish or Arab retail groups will be interested, but such a probability, in my opinion, is not very high," Malakhatko says.

There are fewer and fewer players capable of occupying such facilities on the market, Antonova believes. Nevertheless, local operators who may be interested in occupying new niches, are proactive, she noted.

"Despite the logistical difficulties and features of the Decathlon structure, the most difficult option, the sale of a ready-made retail business (the so-called Russification - TASS) to a local player should also be considered as an option," she says.

About company

Decathlon is a French company specializing in the design, manufacture and retail of products for over 70 sports. Decathlon is part of the Mulliez Family Association, which also owns Auchan and Leroy Merlin.

The first Decathlon store in Russia opened in 2006 in Moscow. At the end of June 2022, Decathlon announced the temporary suspension of activities due to the inability to ensure the supply of goods.