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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ramstore Chain Goes to Turkey's Enka

MTRamenka, which runs the Ramstore hypermarkets, has 53 stores in Russia and in other East European countries.
ISTANBUL — Turkey's Migros, which is up for sale, has agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in Russian retailer Ramenka to its partner in the venture, Enka Insaat, for $542.5 million, it said Tuesday.

The agreement comes as conglomerate Koc Holding is looking into a possible sale of supermarket operator Migros, and shares in the retailer rose on expectations the exit from Russia could improve the deal prospects.

The sale is subject to approval by Russian regulators and the price may be adjusted, Enka said in a statement.

Koc said Tuesday that it was continuing to look at sale options for Migros.

"It will ease the process because now Migros will operate on a net cash rather than a net debt basis," Tera Stockbrokers analyst Ayse Colak said. "I think [foreign investors] were mostly interested in the Turkey growth story, not Russia," she said, noting that Ramenka was Migros' largest foreign business.

Firms looking at Migros include Turkey's Sabanci Holding, which has said it is interested in buying Migros via its joint venture with France's Carrefour.

Turkish newspaper Sabah reported Monday that Alfa Group, already present in Turkey via leading mobile firm Turkcell, was also interested in Migros.

Koc Holding and Enka launched Ramenka as a joint venture in 1997 with equal stakes and together they ran shopping malls and Ramstore hypermarkets.

Ramenka has 53 stores in Russia and outlets in other East European countries, and accounted for about one-fifth of Migros' $3.3 billion in sales last year.

Enka is an energy to construction firm that has long seen Russia as a major part of its strategy. It built the shopping centers Ramenka ran and also invested in Russian real estate. The firm modernized the State Duma and won a contract to build oil and gas processing plants on Sakhalin. Reuters, Bloomberg