German discount supermarket chain Lidl is soon set to open a retailing operation in Malta, Business Today has learned.
The Malta-based operation, an off-shoot of Lidl Italia, is also the beneficiary of a loan amounting to EUR55 million from the European Investment Bank.
Lidl will be the second European retail chain to open shop in Malta after Italian supermarket chain Sisa, which opened its doors in 2004.
Lidl Malta Ltd was registered in May last year with an issued share capital of half a million Malta Liri. Its shareholders are Lidl Italia and Lidl Servizzi Immobiliari, both Italian registered companies belonging to the German grocery giant.
The two Italian companies also registered Lidl Immobiliare Malta Ltd in May last year with an issued share capital of Lm2 million.
Lidl Italia had applied for a loan from the European Investment Bank for the “Objective One areas of Italy as well as Malta” to finance an investment programme for the “development of some small to medium-sized commercial outlets and a new distribution centre.”
The financing arrangement, amounting to EUR55 million was signed on 12 July 2005.
Lidl is a major European discount chain offering both branded products and Lidl-branded goods. The Malta company is in the process of engaging personnel and recruitment is being handled directly by the Italian branch.
It is still unclear where the Lidl supermarkets are to be located and how many the company is planning to have.
A spokesperson for Lidl Italia would not comment on the plans for the Malta-based operation. “It is company policy not to give interviews,” the Italian spokesperson told Business Today.