BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Alfa Trading Co., Hungary's largest food wholesaler, plans to open its largest cash-and-carry unit here by the end of the year.
share, according to Harold B. Finch Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Nash Finch Co., Minneapolis.
Nash Finch is one of four companies that acquired 75% of Alfa two years ago. The other investors are Hungarian-American Enterprise Fund, which shares an equal interest with Nash Finch, and two minority owners: Euroventures Hungary B.V., a Dutch-based investment fund, and the Hungarian Commercial and Credit Bank.
"This was the first full year of results from our investment in Hungary," Finch told his company's shareholders recently, "and while Alfa is small -- about as large as our largest warehouse operation [in dollar volume] -- it is more profitable."
Nash Finch, which operates 20 U.S. warehouses, benefits from Alfa's earnings, but does not consolidate its sales, Finch said.
Alfa operates three warehouses and supplies six corporate cash-and-carry stores, three discount food stores and four specialty general merchandise stores here. It also supplies 19,000 independently owned retail food stores throughout Hungary.
Until late 1992, Alfa had been owned by the State Property Agency, which is now responsible for privatization of state-owned enterprises. The agency subsequently sold 75% of Alfa's ownership for $18 million to an investor group that includes Nash Finch.