Exclusive: Canada's Couche-Tard drops $20 billion Carrefour takeover plan - source

By Pamela Barbaglia LONDON (Reuters) - Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard has dropped its 16.2 billion euro ($19.6 billion) bid to acquire European retailer Carrefour SA after the takeover plan ran into stiff opposition from the French government, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday. The decision to end merger talks came after a meeting on Friday between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Couche-Tard's founder and chairman, Alain Bouchard, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is confidential. Couche-Tard and Carrefour declined to comment.

Reuters January 16, 2021 04:05:22 IST
Exclusive: Canada's Couche-Tard drops $20 billion Carrefour takeover plan - source

Exclusive Canadas CoucheTard drops 20 billion Carrefour takeover plan  source

By Pamela Barbaglia

LONDON (Reuters) - Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard has dropped its 16.2 billion euro ($19.6 billion) bid to acquire European retailer Carrefour SA after the takeover plan ran into stiff opposition from the French government, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

The decision to end merger talks came after a meeting on Friday between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Couche-Tard's founder and chairman, Alain Bouchard, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is confidential.

Couche-Tard and Carrefour declined to comment.

Earlier on Friday, France ruled out any sale of grocer Carrefour on food security grounds, prompting the Canadian firm and its allies to mount a last-ditch attempt to salvage the deal.

"Food security is strategic for our country so that's why we don't sell a big French retailer. My answer is extremely clear: we are not in favour of the deal. The no is polite but it's a clear and final no," Le Maire said.

The French move, with ministers shooting down the offer less than 24 hours after talks were confirmed, sparked disquiet in some business circles over how French President Emmanuel Macron decides which foreign investment is welcome and which is not.

Some politicians and bankers said the pushback could tarnish Macron's pro-business image, while others highlighted that the COVID-19 crisis had forced more than one country to redefine its strategic national interests.

The comments sparked a trans-Atlantic flurry of lobbying and Couche-Tard's Bouchard flew to Paris to explain the merits of the deal to Le Maire, the source said, adding the Finance Minister reiterated his opposition without listening to the terms of the transaction.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, asked about the prospects for a deal, said he would always be there to help Canadian firms succeed internationally and he spoke this week to Macron.

($1 = 0.8282 euro)

(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London, Gwenaelle Barzic, Dominique Vidalon, Benoit Van Overstraeten, Michel Rose, Elizabeth Pineau and Sarah White in Paris, Allison Lampert in Montreal and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Alexander Smith and Matthew Lewis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Robinhood now a go-to for young investors and short sellers
Business

Robinhood now a go-to for young investors and short sellers

By John McCrank NEW YORK (Reuters) - Robinhood, the online brokerage used by many retail traders to pile in to heavily shorted stocks like GameStop Corp, has made an ambitious push into loaning out its clients' shares to short sellers as it expands its business. The broker had $1.9 billion in shares loaned out as of Dec. 31, nearly three times the $674 million a year earlier, and it was permitted to lend out $4.6 billion worth of securities under margin agreements, around five times bigger than the prior year, according to an annual regulatory filing late on Monday

Wall Street mixed as Apple and Tesla retreat
Business

Wall Street mixed as Apple and Tesla retreat

By Noel Randewich (Reuters) - Wall Street was mixed on Tuesday, with Apple and Tesla losing ground, while materials and energy companies climbed as investors looked toward the U.S. Congress approving another stimulus package.

Biden's SEC nominee vows review of GameStop trading issues, climate disclosures
Business

Biden's SEC nominee vows review of GameStop trading issues, climate disclosures

By Pete Schroeder and Chris Prentice WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden's pick to head a key market regulator promised on Tuesday a thorough review of issues raised by the GameStop Corp stock frenzy and suggested companies may have to disclose their potential risks from climate change