| Mexico

Mexico’s FEMSA eyes European retail expansion through Valora acquisition

The Mexican retail giant is entering the European market for the first time through the acquisition of Swiss food and beverage operator group Valora, with FEMSA stating its intention to become a ‘formidable player’ in the European convenience store and foodservice markets

FEMSA operates the largest convenience store chain in Mexico and Latin America with more than 20,000 outlets | Photo credit: FEMSA


 

Mexican retail conglomerate FEMSA is seeking to expand its significant Latin American retail presence into Europe with the acquisition of Swiss foodservice provider Valora. 


The acquisition agreement, which could be valued at up to $1.2bn, paves the way for FEMSA’s first operations in Europe, with the company keen to become a ‘formidable player’ in the European convenience store and foodservice market. 


FEMSA operates OXXO, the largest convenience store chain in Mexico and Latin America with more than 20,000 outlets in Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. OXXO has a significant coffee offer and controls the andatti Gourmet coffee brand, which has a significant self service presence across Mexico.


Alongside plans for significant expansion in its home market, with 10,000 new OXXO stores forecast in Mexico by 2031, FEMSA has been seeking a platform to develop its proximity retail business outside of Latin America and views the partnership with Valora as an opportunity to scale its business in Europe. 


The Swiss coffee market has a strong convenience store market, presenting FEMSA with an opportunity to leverage its vast retail experience to accelerate Valora’s current growth plans. 


Valora, which will continue to operate under its existing name, owns Caffè Spettacolo, an Italian-themed coffee chain with 32 stores across Switzerland and Luxembourg. It is currently the fourth largest branded coffee chain in its native Switzerland.  


Caffè Spettacolo is also available through coffee machines installed at more than 600 of Valora’s 1,100+ kiosk locations in Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg, as well as German railway bookshop chain Press & Books and avec convenience stores, which is projected to be one of the largest convenience formats in Switzerland with around 300 stores by the end of 2022.  


Valora also operates several food-focused brands, including German bakery chain Backwerk and pretzel chains Brezelkönig and Ditsch. 


“We aim to pro-actively drive the growth of the sector and can benefit from FEMSA’s resources and extensive experience as a leading retail company,” said Michael Mueller, CEO, Valora. 


World Coffee Portal estimates the total Swiss branded coffee shop market at 383 outlets, the 17th largest market in terms of outlets across Europe. The Swiss branded coffee shop market is projected to reach 396 outlets by 2027, with fastest growth expected across food-focused chains. 


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