Canadian retail company Alimentation Couche-Tard has stopped its planned acquisition of the large French supermarket group Carrefour after fierce resistance from the French authorities to that deal. Instead, the two will now look at possibilities for loosening cooperation. Among other things, it is envisaged to join forces in the areas of fuel procurement, branding and distribution where their networks overlap.
was a lot to do about the possible merging of the retail groups last week. The Canadians considered a bid of over 16 billion euros to take over Carrefour. The decision to remove the plug from the consultation was taken after a conversation between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire with top directors of Couche-Tard.
Le Maire had already expressed great concern about a takeover of Carrefour because any sale could harm the French employment and food chain. He said in the French media he would stop the transaction. “To sum it up briefly: we say no. It is a friendly no, but nevertheless a clear and definite no,” said the president.
Carrefour employs approximately 105,000 employees in France. This makes the company the largest private employer in the country. Potentially job losses following a recruitment by a foreign party are very sensitive in France, especially now that there is a major economic crisis. Carrefour is not only active in the home market, but also has shops in many countries.