A sign of a Carrefour shopping center, in La Ville du Bois on November 24, 2020. -
NICOLAS MESSYASZ / SIPA
The approach is "friendly" according to Carrefour.
The French distribution giant has been asked by the Canadian food group Couche-Tard for a "rapprochement", the two companies said Tuesday in separate press releases.
"The discussions are very preliminary," said the French company.
A "friendly transaction" desired
"The terms of the transaction are still under discussion," said Couche-Tard, confirming that he would like to conclude a "friendly transaction".
This language suggests that the Canadian would not launch, for the moment, a takeover bid (takeover bid) on Carrefour if it ever encountered opposition from the French group.
"There can be no certainty at this stage that these preliminary discussions lead to an agreement," warned Couche-Tard, present in North America, Europe, Latin America through convenience stores.
According to the Bloomberg press agency, citing anonymous sources, the merger that Couche-Tard wants would take the form of a merger with Carrefour, which claims a network of 12,300 stores in more than thirty countries in across the globe and employs over 320,000 people.
Such a transaction would be a thunderclap in the world of distribution where Couche-Tard still plays a minor role, while Carrefour is one of the major players alongside the American hypermarket giant Walmart.
Couche-Tard is catching up
Couche-Tard is, however, catching up again: the group made a remarkable entry into the Asian market in November by acquiring the Hong Kong group Convenience Retail Asia for nearly $ 360 million.
The price of a possible merger with Carrefour should amount to billions of dollars if the transaction were to take place.
The French group achieved a turnover of 80.7 billion euros in 2019 and posted a market capitalization of 12.64 billion euros on the Paris Stock Exchange on Tuesday evening.
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