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MALTATODAY 3 January 2021

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2 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 3 JANUARY 2021 NEWS Delivery fee of just €1 per day for orders up to 5 newspapers per address To subscribe 1. Email us your choice of newspapers, recipient's name, address, contact number to production 2. Forward cheques payable to Miller Distributors Ltd on address: Miller House, Airport Way, Tarxien Road, Luqa LQA1814 Queries on other news- papers and magazines, production@ maltatoday Same-day delivery of your favourite Sunday newspaper Monday-Friday MaltaToday Midweek • €1 BusinessToday • €1.50 Sunday MaltaToday • €1.95 ILLUM • €1.25 Support your favourite newspaper with a subscription Cases 12,997 Active 1,566 Recoveries 11,211 Deaths 220 Swabs 519,346 LATEST COVID-19 MATTHEW VELLA FOUR supermarkets from the Scotts chain are to be acquired by the Lidl dis- count supermarket chain. The transaction is under the evalua- tion of the Office for Competition, a Lidl company spokesperson confirmed with MaltaToday. This newspaper understands that the value of the transaction is for €35 million for the entire transfer of buildings and land. "This agreement concerns just the transfer of a certain number of real estate properties belonging to Scotts group, which will continue operating in the shops that are not part of the transfer. Currently Lidl is not planning any signif- icant or structural changes on the build- ings which will be part of the transfer," the spokesperson said. Scotts is a family-run operation owned by the Said Investments company, was previously the owner of the Peter Blond clothing company. In 2002 it launched its supermarket brand in Naxxar, and then took over former Nicholsons outlets in Attard and Sliema, with a central ware- house in 2003, and another four in Bur- marrad, Santa Lucija, Zabbar and Fleur- de-Lys. The international discount store Lidl opened its doors in Malta in 2008 and since then has grown to eight stores. In 2017, Said Investments reported a turnover of €38 million, with just under €1 million in pre-tax profits. Lidl report- ed a massive turnover of €182 million in 2019, with pre-tax profits of €30 million. Scotts in €35m sale to Lidl THE new year has claimed its first COV- ID-19 death, but infection numbers are at just over half those recorded yesterday, with 88 new COVID-19 cases being reg- istered on Saturday, according to figures released by the health ministry today. The latest victim was 73 years old, testing positive for COVID-19 on 14 December, 2020. 1,810 swab tests were carried out in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of swabs to 519,346. Active cases now stand at 1,566. Total deaths stand at 220, while total cases number 12,997. 33 new recoveries were registered, with 11,211 recoveries registered since the pandemic began. The ministry said that today's cases were still being investigated, but from yesterday's cases, 23 were family mem- bers of previously known cases, 7 were contacts of positive work colleagues, 9 were direct contacts with other posi- tive cases, and 7 were from social gath- erings. First COVID death of 2021

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