CARREFOUR KEEN TO RESTART TAKEOVER TALKS

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Grocery retailer Carrefour has said that it is open to takeover opportunities, despite the French government blocking talks between the retailer and Canadian group Couche-Tard.

Alexandre Bompard, Carrefour’s Chief Executive and Chairman, said: “We were only at the beginning of the discussions [with Couche-Tard]. There was opposition from the French government, at a time when there was no concrete project on the table. 

“I don’t know what position my board of directors would have taken, I don’t even know what I would have advised them to do.”

Mr Bompard said that Carrefour does not need a takeover, as the company itself has sufficient scale and resources. 

“We made acquisitions last year for €800 million to strengthen us. We will develop further. We have the resources to realise our ambitions.

“We don’t see any opportunities to strengthen ourselves in France now. The conditions to do so have not been met.”

In November 2020, Carrefour acquired French organic chain Bio c’ Bon and merged the company with So.bio, a chain it has owned since 2019. At the time of its acquisition by Carrefour, it has 115 stores and was the third largest organic chain in France, after Naturalia and Biocoop.

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