French retailer Carrefour to sell Taiwanese business valued at US$1.19B

CHINA – French retailer Carrefour is planning to launch a sale of its Taiwan business, which is valued at around 1.6 billion euros (US$1.9 billion) in the coming weeks, according to a Reuters report. 

Sources privy to the matter told Reuters that the supermarket chain operator has hired Morgan Stanley to run the sale, which is expected to kick off after the summer. 
 
Carrefour, which has so far not released an official statement on the matter is further said to have approached a number of potential buyers, including private equity firms, to gauge their interest. 

The retailer which is the largest in Europe said in June it had started considering possible consolidation, divestitures, or tie-ups of its foreign subsidiaries, but denied it had decided to sell any assets. 
 
Carrefour acquired food retailer Wellcome Taiwan from Asia’s Dairy Farm for an enterprise value of 97 million euros in December, making it the number two player in Taiwan’s convenience stores market.  With the acquisition, Carrefour expanded its footprint by 224 stores as well as a warehouse. 

Carrefour reported 1.26 billion euros in Taiwan net sales in the first half, up 13% year on year at constant exchange rates.

While it has expanded in Taiwan in recent years, Carrefour retreated from the highly competitive Chinese market in 2019 by selling 80% of its loss-making operations to electronics retailer Suning.com. 

Earlier in March, Carrefour’s Brazil subsidiary entered into an agreement with Advent International and Walmart for the acquisition of Grupo BIG Brasil SA (“Grupo BIG”), Brazil’s third-biggest food retailer.  

According to a statement from the company, the acquisition strengthens Carrefour’s presence in  Brazil and allows it to offer Brazilian consumers a broader range of products and services at more competitive prices. 

The French retailer also survived a €16.2bn takeover bid by Canadian convenience store group Alimentation Couche-Tard. The French government, coming to the rescue, blocked the proposed merger saying it would put the country’s “food sovereignty” at risk. 

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