October 16, 2021

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Fans can lend HEMA money through the Citizens Initiative

Fans can lend HEMA money through the Citizens Initiative

HEMA enthusiasts who joined the Citizens Initiative last year to buy the retail chain can still make a financial contribution to the company. HEMA and HENA (the only Dutch alternative) will issue the bonds together.

A bond is a type of loan. Consumers lend an amount to the retail chain and receive interest on it. The interest depends on the HEMA turnover.

“Such a construction is really new,” says HENA Board Member and PvdA Senator Mai Lee Vos. “Getting off the ground was a very complicated matter legally, because we want a financial product that is understandable and safe for everyone. It’s not so much for investors, but it’s fun for families and our employees.”

Shop “lovers” can participate for a minimum of €10 and a maximum of €1,000. “It basically shows your involvement,” Vos stresses. “It won’t make you rich.”

Participants also will not lose money with it. If the HEMA turnover falls, the interest rate will be zero in the worst case. Deposit remains the same.

Helping hand

According to Vos, the total amount that will be loaned by people to HEMA will be a maximum of a few million euros. It’s a helping hand, because the money isn’t meant to keep the chain afloat. “It’s no longer necessary, the company is in good hands with the new owners,” Voss says.

A fierce takeover battle erupted around HEMA last year. The company had been in the red for years and had a large debt load. To prevent the company from selling in pieces to the highest bidders – and possibly disappearing – the HENA Foundation did in the midst of this moment also show Under the heading “Buy Hema”.

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“We knew then that it would be difficult for citizens to buy the store. But we sent a clear signal: the Dutch would be very angry if HEMA ruptured.”

The series finally became Sold by Dutch investment firm Parcom and the Van Eerd family, who are also owners of the Jumbo supermarket chain.

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Vos is pleased that enthusiasts can now demonstrate commitment to the store. Unlike shareholders, bondholders have no say in the strategic course of the company. However, in this case, bondholders are given the opportunity to contribute ideas on certain topics.

“HEMA would like bondholders, as well as all other fans, to join the conversation about sustainability, for example. After all, sustainability is easier if you have customer support.”