French distributor Auchan has bought 25 Parisian Casino stores after the latter was forced to sell 55 stores after it had seized control of Monoprix nearly two years ago.
55 Parisian stores get new owner
Auchan beat Intermarché and Carrefour to the bulk of the Parisian convenience stores Casino had on sale and the 25 stores will probably be transformed into A2Pas, Auchan's branch of urban shops it is currently expanding.
Seven stores will move to G20, a group of independent entrepreneurs linked to the regional Diapar group. Marks & Spencer will transform 6 Casino's into M&S Food stores, with the remainder of the stores in the hands of independent entrepreneurs. Two of them plan to create a bio-focused urban shop.
A consequence of the Monoprix deal
Now that Casino has parted with the 55 Parisian stores, it has followed up on an explicit demand from the French anti-trust authority, which refused to greenlight the Monoprix purchase unless it got rid of the remaining 55 Parisian stores. Otherwise, the group would have been too dominant in the French capital.
Casino managed to buy Monoprix after a fierce battle with Galeries Lafayette, a fight that even reached the Parisian commercial court. In the end, Casino paid 1.175 billion euro for the 50 % of shares owned by the family holding that also owns Galeries Lafayette. The Moulin family has invested a large chunk of that money into Carrefour, which "happens" to be one of Casino's largest competitors.