Casino has reached an agreement with Carrefour to sell twenty-five stores to it

The distributor Casino, in the grip of serious financial difficulties, announced on Thursday February 8 that it had reached an agreement with Carrefour to sell twenty-five supermarkets and hypermarkets.

“The completion of the transfers would take place on April 30, 2024, after consultation with the staff representative bodies concerned”according to a press release from the Casino group, which does not give the list of stores concerned.

The twenty-five brands are part of a wave of 288 hypermarkets and supermarkets whose sale Casino had announced at the end of January to Auchan and Intermarché. The same day, Carrefour announced that it had entered into “exclusive negotiations” with Intermarché to buy back part of the store network sold by Casino, to avoid competition problems.

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Fears for the 50,000 employees

While the dismantling of the Casino group raises fears among its approximately 50,000 employees, “Carrefour has made social commitments similar to those of the Les Mousquetaires group [propriétaire d’Intermarché] towards employees assigned to transferred stores and service stations”, indicates in the press release published Thursday the distributor based in Saint-Etienne. The Paris commercial court is due to examine the Casino group’s draft accelerated safeguard plan on Monday.

In great difficulty, the distributor signed an agreement in July providing for the restructuring of its debt and a change of shareholders by March-April 2024. It is the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, the Frenchman Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière and the British fund Attestor, who must take orders on this date.

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Casino specifies Thursday that the sale of the twenty-five stores to Carrefour is conditional on obtaining “all the usual authorizations”and in particular those of “competent competition authorities”.

At the end of December, the Competition Authority forced Intermarché to sell three of the sixty-one stores acquired from Casino to its rivals as part of a first wave of store sales.

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The World with AFP

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