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Carrefour selling 80% equity interest to Suning.com

By WANG ZHUOQIONG | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-06-23 23:41

French retailing giant Carrefour Group announced on Sunday it had agreed to sell 80 percent equity interest in Carrefour China to the leading Chinese retailer Suning.com for 4.8 billion yuan ($698.8 million) in cash.

The transaction, which will be paid in cash, values Carrefour China at an enterprise value of $1.59 billion. The transaction values 100 percent of Carrefour China at an equity value of 6 billion yuan ($873.5 million) .

The purchase price for the acquisition of 80 percent of Carrefour China shares is 4.8 billion yuan.

Carrefour Group will retain a 20 percent stake in the business and two seats out of seven on Carrefour China's Supervisory Board.

With a presence in China dating back to 1995, Carrefour China operates a network of 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores. In 2018, it generated net sales of 28.5 billion yuan.

Suning said the move will continue to expand its retail scenario and diversify its retail category and stimulate its competitiveness in fast-moving consumer goods. The Nanjing-based retailer said it will digitalize the existing Carrefour stores and integrate its online and offline shopping experience.

Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China, said the move indicated Suning's ambition to further expand its portfolio in China despite its position as the leader in the retail industry.

"Although Carrefour has been struggling in the past few years, it remains a significant player in China. It will help Suning to move into the grocery business while previously Suning's strength was electrics/home appliances, and then with the Wanda acquisition they are moving into shopper centers," said Yu.

The move is the second-largest deal since Suning acquired Wanda Department store early this year.

For Carrefour, which had previously withdrawn from a number of Asia countries, Yu said, the deal is part of its efforts to focus on its stronghold in Europe.

Suning.com operates a network of over 8,881 stores in more than 700 cities and runs the country's 3rd largest business-to-consumer e-commerce platform.

Closing the transaction is subject to approval by Chinese competition authorities and other customary conditions, and is expected by the end of 2019.

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