Brugsen, Østerbrogade, Copenhagen. Photo: Leif Jørgensen. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Coop’s National Council Approves Sale of Half its Stake to OK, Securing Future with Two Billion Kroner Injection

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Coop’s highest authority, the national council, voted ‘yes’ on Friday to sell half of Coop Danmark to OK a.m.b.a.

107 council members voted in favor of the agreement, while 5 voted against.

“With this agreement, we ensure both the business’s and the association’s future. It has been crucial to inject new capital into Coop Danmark, and with this agreement, we have ensured it in the best possible way. At the same time, the agreement marks a new beginning for the association behind Coop, where together with the business, we will develop Coop’s causes and values, and give our two million members a strong consumer voice,” says Pernille Skipper, who assumes the position of chairman for Coop amba on Saturday.

The agreement means that Coop Danmark will receive two billion Danish kroner in new capital. Coop amba and OK a.m.b.a. initially inject one billion each into Coop Danmark and will have approximately 50/50 ownership. The money from Coop amba comes in part from the sale of some of the association’s assets, including Coop Bank. Depending on developments, the ownership stakes may vary. At the same time, OK gains decisive influence over Coop Danmark.

“There is good reason to thank the national council for the clear support. It means that there is stability regarding Coop’s finances. Now we can concentrate our efforts on realizing the necessary turnaround, where we simplify the company and focus on good merchandising and the basic operations in the stores,” says chairman Jeff Gravenhorst, Coop Danmark A/S.

At OK, CEO Michael Løve is pleased with the result, which he calls a relief:

“I am happy and perhaps a little relieved. The national council’s decision is crucial for the nearly 1,000 stores and 40,000 colleagues that are part of Coop, just as it is important for OK. Now we hope for a swift resolution with the Competition Authority and look forward to collaborating with the association to run a grocery chain that remains closely connected to its customers and members,” says Michael Løve, CEO of OK.

Competition authorities must now approve the deal. It is expected to happen within the year.

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