According to the newspaper ‘Les Echos’, Casino is conducting exclusive negotiations with Aldi regarding the sale of Leader Price. The possible transaction fits the rescue plan announced on 20 August.
Last month, Casino announced that it would (again) sell 2 billion euros of assets in order to further reduce its debt. Analysts had already assumed that Leader Price would possibly be sold, just like the remaining Géant hypermarkets. ‘Les Echos’ now writes that there are exclusive negotiations taking place with discounter Aldi. The price would be well above 400 million euros. However, once a final agreement is reached, it must still be approved by the competition authorities.
Leader Price has around 700 stores, many of which are operated under franchise agreements. The chain achieved a turnover of 2.5 billion euros in 2018. Last year, 70 of those branches making a loss were closed. The chain was founded in 1990 by the Baud family. Following the example of hard discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, it sold a limited range of mainly own brands. In 1997, the retail chain was bought by Casino. Like Lidl, Leader Price has softened its model over the years, creating more space for A-brands.