Cora Romania gets EUR 210 million from EBRD to open new hypermarkets

Romania Hypermarche, the company that operates the local Cora hypermarket chain has obtained a EUR 210 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The funds will be used to "finance new stores of the Cora hypermarket chain in Romania, most of which will be carried out in regional cities," announced EBRD on its site. Overall, Cora will invest EUR 397 million in expanding its local network.

Over the coming years the French retailer has plans to considerably speed up its expansion pace. Between 20 and 25 new units will be opened in the next three to four years, Philippe Lejeune, general director of Cora Romania has previously announced. For 2012, three new hypermarket openings have been announced so far, in Bucharest, Slobozia and Bacau.

At the beginning of 2011, the company has also announced plans to enter a new market and open its own shopping mall in Constanta under the name of Corall, following an investment of EUR 100 million. Lejeune said that works on Corall are on schedule.

The shopping mall should open in the second half of 2012. It will have a total constructed area of 150,000 sqm. The facility will be anchored by an 8,500-sqm Cora hypermarket and will feature another 150 stores as well as an entertainment area.

Presently Cora operates 8 hypermarkets in Romania, 3 of which have been opened this year. The first Cora hypermarket was opened in 2003 and two more units followed in 2005 and 2006.