Guest of "La France Bouge", Tuesday on Europe 1, the CEO of Leclerc estimated that the position taken by the French government, which opposed the merger envisaged by Carrefour and the Canadian group Couche-Tard, reflected a desire to preserve large French companies, especially after the coronavirus crisis.
"I think that on the file itself, there is something that we do not know", advance Michel-Edouard Leclerc about the very firm position of the French government on the proposed merger between Carrefour and the group Canadian Couche-Tard.
Discussions between the two players were interrupted this weekend, after the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, said he was opposed to "sell" the French distributor.
"A file, it learns", commented the CEO of E.Leclerc, Tuesday on Europe 1, implying that the rapid reaction of the executive was probably motivated by elements not communicated to the general public.
Before welcoming, "beyond the form", a political interest in the fate of the major players in the French economy.
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"Large vector boxes for export"
"What is interesting is that after the Covid, I think that there is an awareness of the entire political class of the fundamental role of the commercial function", affirms Michel-Edouard Leclerc.
A dual role, according to the boss: "Both to sell goods in times of crisis, but also as an actor or co-actor in health management, or in any case flows in French society."
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However, "at one point we are saying that we have to set up European poles capable of competing with the Chinese and the Americans, (...) we realize that all the major industrialists [in these countries,
] have benefited from a preference on their national market, "says the French CEO.
"And so, I think that Mr. Le Maire, Mr. Breton [Thierry Breton, European Commissioner in favor of more regulation of digital giants,
)], are saying to themselves: 'We still have large French companies that can be vectors for export, such as Auchan, Carrefour or Casino '. "
"Another type of discussions" with the State
"I think this is good and that it leads us to have a different type of discussions with the State", welcomes Michel-Edouard Leclerc, whose group is already associated with several allies ... European , such as Delhaize in Belgium and Coop Italia.
Faced with competitors from other continents, "our objective is a kind of Airbus for European distribution," he says.