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Fridman (LetterOne) believes that Dia should open thousands of stores in Brazil

LetterOne is gaining ground. The investment vehicle of Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman received on Monday the ‘yes’ of the Brazilian competition authorities to his takeover on Dia. Green traffic light in a country “very relevant” for the company.

So much so that, in the eyes of the fund, Dia should open “thousands of stores” in the country. This is stated in a statement to which this newspaper has accessed that LetterOne has sent after hearing the decision of the Administrative Council of Economic Defense of Brazil. “There is no other local retailer like Dia in Brazil, so there is an opportunity to develop a strong player in this market,” says the fund.

With an investment plan and a refocus, Brazil is, according to LetterOne, an attractive engine for the company’s growth in the medium and long term. The fund considers that it has the “necessary credentials” to successfully implement the transformation plan.

The Russian supermarket company grew by 3,800 to 12,000 stores. With Dia in Brazil, they think they would be able to do something similar. “Together with Argentina, Brazil grants balance and complementarity to the business,” explains the fund.

Therefore, they believe that the development in Brazil, where Dia has 1,115 stores, has to happen as soon as possible.

LetterOne stresses that Brazil has responded to the fund’s request in just five days, despite having a one-month deadline. They expect the same thing to happen with the European Commission.

Thus, the fund requested the ‘yes’ to both parts last February. To meet the maximum date, the shareholders meeting of Dia would be held without Fridman having obtained all the green lights it needs, as it is scheduled for March 20.

Likewise, it was last Thursday when it submitted to the CNMV the request for authorization to carry out the voluntary takeover of the supermarket company, with a guarantee from the Swiss bank UBS for an amount of not less than 296.09 million euros.

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