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Jeronimo Martins to Open Stores in Colombia by March of 2013

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Jeronimo Martins SGPS SA, Portugal’s biggest retailer by market value, may open its first stores in Colombia by the end of the first quarter of next year, Rita Fragoso, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday.

“The opening of the first stores may take place between the fourth quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013,” Fragoso said.

Lisbon-based Jeronimo Martins laid out a strategy in 2011 of growing in Poland and entering Colombia amid a recession in its home market. The retailer will “surely” open its first stores in Colombia in the fourth quarter, Chairman Alexandre Soares dos Santos said on March 7.

The company may seek acquisitions to become one of the South American country’s top three retailers, Chief Financial Officer Alan Johnson said in an interview that day.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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