Carrefour sells Chinese branch to Suning

Carrefour China

Barely a month after Carrefour's announcement that it did not consinder selling its Chinese branch, it sells 80 % to local retailer Suning.com.

 

Carrefour goes B2B

The deal earns Carrefour 4.8 billion yuan (610 million euros), which will rid the French chain of a lot of worries, Bloomberg reports. The Chinese buy much more online than Europeans do, and the 210 hypermarkets and 24 neighbourhood stores were no match for that reality: Carrefour China had to make do with a (decreasing) turnover of 3.6 billion euros and a profit of barely 66 million.

 

Suning operates on a different scale: with a turnover in excess of 70 billion euros and almost 9000 stores, it is China's third biggest e-commerce platform. Still, Carrefour is not quite leaving China: the chain will now become Suning's biggest supplier of food and consumables, according to Chinasquare. Also, Carrefour maintains a 20 % share and two of the seven seats in the board of its (former) Chinese branch.

 

The new owner of Carrefour China may ring a bell with European football fans, since they also own Italian club FC Internazionale (Milan). And among Suning's shareholders is another big name: Taobao, which is Alibaba's sales platform, owns almost 20% of Suning.