The Swiss retailer, Jelmoli, is to expand its real estate interests by buying a 44.5 per cent stake in Basel-based group, Tivona. No financial details were released on the deal.
The purchase will take effect from the start of 2001, and Jelmoli will take complete control of Tivona's share capital in mid-2003, via a merger.
Jelmoli, better known for running Zurich's premier department store of the same name, said in a statement that it expected rental income from its real estate activities to double over the next few years, boosting net profit by 50 per cent.
It added that Tivona has a real estate portfolio in the retail sector as well as many important projects on the point of construction, for which it has already lined up the main occupants.
After disposing of businesses in travel, optics, textile care and a US mail order firm in 1999, Jelmoli has been concentrating on its two main activities: retailing and real estate.
As well as its flagship department store in Zurich, Jelmoli also owns the Molino restaurant chain, the Fust specialist stores for electronic and household goods and the Portable Shop for computers.
swissinfo with agencies