Mass distribution: Paris does not want a merger between Carrefour and Couche-Tard

The Quebec local food retail giant, Couche-Tard, pledged to invest billions of euros in Carrefour (illustrative image).

AFP / File

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The merger between the large distribution groups Carrefour and Couche-Tard should not go beyond the stage of “very preliminary discussions”.

The Canadian would have withdrawn his offer according to information from Reuters and Bloomberg.

This rapid abandonment - only a few days after the announcement of the offer - would be due to the position of the French government.


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The decision was made, according to Bloomberg sources, after a meeting between Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy, and Alain Bouchard, the founder of Couche-Tard.

To reassure Bercy, the Canadian group had pledged to invest several billion in Carrefour and to preserve jobs in France for two years.

Another guarantee provided: the group's listing on the Paris Stock Exchange in parallel with Canada.

The French government, not convinced

But the French government, still not convinced, has the means to oppose certain investments in the agro-food sector.

Bruno Le Maire had recalled it yesterday by opposing "

 a clear and definitive no 

" to the takeover of the first private employer in the country.

According to a source in Bercy, who does not confirm the withdrawal of Couche-Tard's offer, the interview last night went smoothly.

Alain Bouchard would have understood the arguments of Bruno Le Maire, without sharing them, their interests diverging.

Food Safety

A French argument, however, seems not to have been appreciated by a government source in Ottawa: the one explaining that the


was opposed in the name of food security in France.

For now, neither Couche-Tard nor Carrefour have confirmed the end of negotiations.

To read also

: France: up to 3,000 departures at Carrefour


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