A Couche-Tard store in Montreal.



The French government opposes a "clear and definitive" refusal to the merger between the French distribution groups Carrefour and Canadian Couche-Tard, said Friday the French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire.

"My position is a courteous no, but clear and definitive", insisted the minister during an interview with the media BFMTV and RMC, after indicating Wednesday that he was "a priori not favorable" to a such an operation in the name of the “food security” of the French.


"This health crisis has taught us one thing: it is that food security is priceless", defended Bruno Le Maire, referring to the role of large distribution during the first lockdown to ensure the supply of the French.

"Food safety is strategic for our country and therefore we do not sell one of the major French distributors", he added, adding that "Carrefour is the leading private employer in France with nearly 100,000 employees" and that the group “represents nearly 20% of food distribution in our country”.

To oppose this takeover, the government can rely on the regulations on the control of foreign investments, which allow it to block takeover operations in the food industry.

"We have the legal instrument at our disposal, I prefer not to have to use it", but the Ministry of the Economy will activate it "if necessary", argued Bruno Le Maire.


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