French newspaper Journal du dimanche states that Carrefour has started negotiations with Brazil’s biggest supermarket chain CBD about a possible merger of CBD and Carrefour’s Brazilian activities. The French chain would have asked Bank Lazard to explore this possibility.
Biggest Brazilian food retailer
Carrefour has been looking for new capital for some time and has earlier been trying to introduce its real estate branch and a discounter brand to the stock markets. Its new target, the “Companhia Brasileira de Distribuição”, is the biggest Brazilian food retailer with 1800 stores and 140,000 employees. The Diniz family (famous for its Formula One driver Pedro and one of the richest in Brazil) would join Carrefour’s capital.
The main obstacle in joining the 30 billion dollar group and the “disappointing” activities of the French chain lies in another part of France: Carrefour’s rival Casino holds 35% of CBD’s shares, about as much as the Diniz family does. Neither of the European chains wanted to comment the possible merger.
Papin dropped out of French director position
It looks like Lars Olofsson, general director at Carrefour, has to take charge of Carrefour’s French activities somewhat longer, as the main candidate for his succession has dropped out. Serge Papin, strong favourites with analysts, would stay on as CEO of Carrefour’s competitor Système U – that has just taken over 46 Carrefour franchisers.