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AFP
January 17, 2021

Carrefour deal snubbed

Business

AFP
January 17, 2021

Paris: Canadian convenience store chain Couche-Tard has reportedly pulled out of a multi-billion euro takeover of supermarket giant Carrefour after the French government said it would veto the deal.

Negotiations over the 16 billion euro ($19.5 billion) deal ended after a meeting between the French Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and the founder of Couche-Tard Alain Bouchard, Bloomberg news agency said, citing sources. French ministers had insisted Friday they would not agree to the takeover because it could jeopardise food security, an even more important consideration given the coronavirus pandemic.

In an attempt to reassure ministers, Bouchard had promised to invest billions in Carrefour, said he would maintain employment for two years and that the group would be listed on the Paris Stock Exchange in parallel with Canada, Bloomberg reported. Contacted by AFP, neither Couche-Tard nor Carrefour had confirmed the information on Friday evening. Although talks had stopped, anonymous sources cited by Bloomberg said negotiations could resume if the French government changes its position.

But on Friday, France´s Economy Minister made his choice public, telling BMTV and RMC: "My position is a polite, but clear and definitive ´No´."