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Matas chain of pharmacies sold

Owners of Matas medicine and cosmetics stores accepted a billion kroner offer from British capital fund CVC on Sunday in Vejle, Jutland.

The storeowners' decision to accept CVC's bid of DKK 5.2bn ended a dramatic bidding war with Axcel to purchase the chain, which posted a turnover of 1.6bn last year.

The Matas stores' blue and white striped logo is a common scene on street corners with 291 stores nationwide. The chain's franchise ownership structure gives storeowners a say in company matters.

Storeowners' caught wind that Axcel's bid was actually higher than CVC's, leading them to accuse board members of promoting CVC for personal gain, a claim the Matas board dismissed.

Lars Frederiksen, chair of the Matas board, was tight-lipped as to why the CVC bid proved the winner.

'I don't want to go into the details, but personally my decision has been influenced by recent exchanges in the press. In cases like this, feelings play a larger role than money.'

Christian Frigast, the CEO of Axcel, accepted defeat after leaving the general meeting in Jutland.

'We have to acknowledge that CVC won. Those are the rules of the game. There has been a democratic decision in Matas, and we accept that.'

CVC's plans for the Matas stores' did not immediately include an offensive outside of the country, said the fund's CEO, Søren Vestergaard-Poulsen.

'In the short term, we will continue with the basic values in Matas that emphasise employees' professional skills,' said Vestergaard-Poulsen.