Carrefour exits Japan, Mexico, expands in Italy
PARIS, March 10 (AFP) - French supermarket giant Carrefour said on Thursday that it had sold its eight hypermarkets in Japan to Japanese group Aeon and 29 hypermarkets in Mexico to Mexican group Cherdraui, while expanding in Italy.
The deals, for which no value was given, were part of a strategy to grow in Italy and to sell non-core or under-performing assets.
Carrefour also announced an agreement for it to become the majority shareholder in its Italian partner Finiper.
Carrefour, which already owns 20 percent of Finiper, said it had reached an agreement with Marco Brunelli, the main shareholder in Finiper.
Under this deal, Carrefour had an option to buy 31 percent of Finiper.
Brunelli had an option to sell about 80 percent of Finiper which operates 24 hypermarkets. In 2004, these had sales of about EUR 1.6 billion (USD 2.1 billion).
Carrefour said that the agreement was part of a strategy to gain market share in Italy following a franchising agreement with Ce.Di.Marche which operates 66 supermarkets and 38 smaller local stores.
Carrefour in Italy currently operates 1,246 outlets with sales of EUR 5.9 billion last year.
The eight Japanese hypermarkets sold to Aeon had sales of about EUR 326 million last year.
Carrefour said it had also reached a draft agreement with Aeon for Aeon to use the Carrefour name in Japan, for the two groups to cooperate on some commercial activities and for the sale in Japan of Carrefour-branded products.
The 29 stores sold in Mexico had sales last year of EUR 519 million. The deal also included two stores planned for this year. Chedraui manages 64 hypermarkets in southern Mexico.
Carrefour did not provide the price for which it had sold these hypermarkets but said that the two deals meant that it had almost achieved the figure of EUR 1 billion it had targeted for 2004-2005 from the sale of non-strategic or insufficiently profitable activities.
Subject: French News