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French Regulator OKs Intermarche’s Acquisition of 61 Casino Stores with Conditions

 |  January 11, 2024

The French antitrust authority has given the green light to the acquisition of 61 Casino stores by Intermarche, a prominent French retailer. However, the approval comes with a condition: Intermarche must agree to re-sell three stores to address potential competition concerns.

Intermarche initially announced its intention to purchase the 61 stores from Casino in May, and the plan was officially presented to the French competition authority in July. The anti-trust authority carefully scrutinized the proposed acquisition and, after thorough evaluation, granted clearance, contingent upon the divestiture of three stores to mitigate any adverse effects on competition in the retail sector.

This decision marks a significant development in the ongoing restructuring efforts within the French retail landscape. In December, the financially strained Casino revealed its exclusive negotiations with Les Mousquetaires for the sale of 313 hypermarkets and supermarkets across France. Les Mousquetaires, which owns Intermarche, is also associated with Auchan Retail.

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If the negotiations proceed as planned, the deal would reshape Casino’s portfolio, leaving them with the upmarket brand Monoprix and Franprix, the latter focusing primarily on city-center stores. This strategic move is seen as part of Casino’s broader strategy to streamline its operations and alleviate its financial burdens.

The acquisition by Intermarche is expected to strengthen its position in the French retail market, expanding its footprint with the addition of the 61 Casino stores. The re-selling of three stores as mandated by the anti-trust authority reflects a commitment to maintaining fair competition within the industry.

Source: Reuters