MONTREAL — In what Metro Inc. called a "breakthrough in the ethnic foods market," the retailer here said Wednesday that it had acquired a 55% stake in retailer Marche Adonis and in its distributor Phoenicia Products.
Adonis operates four stores specializing in Mediterranean products and is currently building a fifth, all in Quebec. It also operates warehouses distributing Phoenicia and Cedar brand products in Montreal and Toronto.
Marche Adonis will continue to be operated by its founders, who retain a 45% stake in the company, Metro said. A purchase price was not disclosed.
"We are happy to be associated with the Marche Adonis founders. They are entrepreneurs who developed a unique food concept in Canada, very popular with its customers, that has been successful for over 30 years," Eric La Fleche, president and chief executive officer of Metro, said in a statement. "This partnership will allow us to better meet the needs of the various cultural communities and increase our market share in the fast growing ethnic foods category."
The investment from Metro will help accelerate growth of Marche Adonis, according to Jamil Cheaib, who co-founded the business in 1978 with his brother Elie and George Ghrayeb, natives of Lebanon.
"Our culture, our working methods, our range of products and most importantly our employees, will remain in place to continue to serve our highly loyal customers," Jamil Cheaib said.
Metro rival Loblaw in 2009 acquired T&T Supermarkets, a leading Asian supermarket chain, with an eye on developing expertise in ethnic foods.