Groupe Auchan has signed a EUR 1.1 bln purchase agreement with German retailer Metro Group to buy the operational activities of the Real hypermarket chain in Poland Romania Russia and Ukraine. A total of 91 stores are to change hands in Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine as well as 13 shopping centres in Russia and Romania. The real estate assets of 14 stores are also included in the acquisition. In the four countries, Real generated more than EUR 2.6 bln in 2011 and has a workforce of around 20,000, while Auchan operates 98 stores and has a workforce of around 65,000. The deal, which is subject to the consent of the competition authorities of each of the countries involved, is likely to be finalised next year.