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Alimentation Couche-Tard & Carrefour consider partnerships after takeover talks end

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and the French grocer Carrefour SA have abandoned takeover talks but have decided to extend their discussions to examine opportunities for operational partnerships.

Canada's Couche-Tard drops $20 billion Carrefour takeover plan after French government opposition

(Reuters) – Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard has dropped its 16.2 billion euro ($19.6 billion) bid to acquire European retailer Carrefour SA.

Couche-Tard was hoping to win the french government’s blessing by offering commitments on both jobs and France’s food supply chain.

Moreover, The Laval-based convenience store chain was planning in keeping the merged entity listed in both Paris and Toronto, with Carrefour boss Alexandre Bompard and his Couche-Tard counterpart Brian Hannasch leading it as co-CEOs, one of the sources said.

But the finance minister reiterated his opposition without listening to the terms of the transaction. A source from Reuters said any such deal should not be revisited before France’s presidential elections in 2022.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire says government wants to preserve country’s food security, sovereignty

Bruno Le Maire French Finance minister opposition to Carrefour's acquisition By Couchetard

What will happen next for the negociations?

Couche-Tard & Carrefour consider Building Innovative Partnerships Despite the French Government Opposition

Couche-Tard initially explored the possibility of pursuing its offer despite the government’s stance on the deal but has raised a white flag. Carrefour won’t be acquired by Alimentation Couche Tard at the moment.

Indeed, The Laval-based convenience store chain and Carrefour SA issued a joint statement saying they recently discussed a possible deal, but are no longer continuing with those conversations after recent events. 

Couche-Tard and Carrefour say they will figure out how they can collaborate around fuel, purchasing volumes and private labels.

They will also focus on partnerships that use innovation to improve the customer experience and optimize product distribution across their overlapping networks.

About Carrefour group

With a multi-format network of some 12,300 stores in more than 30 countries, the Carrefour Group is one of the world’s leading food retailers. Carrefour recorded gross sales of €80.7 billion in 2019. It has more than 320,000 employees who help to make Carrefour the world leader in the food transition for everyone, providing everybody with access to high-quality, affordable food every day, in all locations.

For more information, visit www.carrefour.com, or find us on Twitter (@GroupeCarrefour) and LinkedIn (Carrefour).

About Couche Tard

Couche-Tard is the leader in the Canadian convenience store industry, with a market cap of approximately C$46 billion as at January 12, 2021. In the United States, it is the largest independent convenience store operator in terms of the number of company-operated stores. In Europe, Couche–Tard is a leader in convenience store and road transportation fuel retail in the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark), in the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), as well as in Ireland, and has an important presence in Poland.

For more information on Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. or to consult its quarterly Consolidated Financial Statements and Management Discussion and Analysis, please visit: https://corpo.couchetard.com/.

Minister Mary Ng said in a statement Saturday that while the Canadian government was disappointed in news the takeover would not be proceeding, it was encouraged the two companies would continue to explore an operational partnership.

Credit Photo: Courtesy of Stephane Mahe, Reuters

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