Sri Lankan company acquires supermarket chain Agora

Neither Softlogic nor Agora owners disclosed the deal value

The retail holdings wing of Sri Lankan conglomerate Softlogic is all set to be the new owner of Agora, Bangladesh's first ever and the second largest supermarket chain.

The Lankan entity made this disclosure in a regulatory filing in Colombo Stock Exchange recently.

The acquisition of 100% stake in the company via a series of transactions would be subject to terms and conditions set out therein and receipt of regulatory approvals.

However, neither Softlogic nor Agora owners disclosed the deal value. 

Investment banking sources, however, estimate that the amount might be something between Tk181 and Tk249 crore, citing previous events. 

Khalid Quadir, CEO and founding partner of Brummer & Partners (Bangladesh), which manages the first Bangladesh-focused private equity fund, Frontier Fund that now owns 72% of Agora, declined to disclose any number right now to the media. 

Softlogic has a very strong track record and expertise in the fields of ICT, healthcare, retail, financial services, automobile and leisure industries. 

Their retail holdings' operations include branded apparel, consumer electronics, mobile handset and distribution, supermarkets and quick service restaurants.

Agora was the first retail chain to open in Bangladesh in 2001, courtesy of Rahimafrooz, one of the oldest corporate houses of the country.

Currently, there are 15 outlets of Agora in Dhaka, 1 in Chattogram, and 2 in Sylhet.

To keep pace with the industry, Agora welcomed its new investor Frontier Fund in 2009, which began with a 49% stake in the company.