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18 Jan 2021 | 08:29

Couche-Tard ends talks on Carrefour bid after French govt opposition

(Sharecast News) - Canadian convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard pulled out of €16.2bn takeover talks with Carrefour after the French government said it was against the deal on food security grounds. The two companies on the weekend said in a joint statement that the talks "are no longer continuing", despite a meeting between Couche-Tard co-founder and chairman Alain Bouchard and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Friday.

Bouchard had promised €3bn in investment and no job cuts, all of which was rejected by Le Maire, who had opposed the deal, citing a threat to France's "food sovereignty".

"Carrefour and Couche-Tard, however, have decided to extend their discussions to examine opportunities for operational partnerships," the two firms said.

"Among the preliminary areas of cooperation to be explored are sharing best practices on fuel, pooling purchasing volumes, partnering on private labels, improving the customer journey through innovation, and evaluating ways of optimizing product distribution in the overlapping networks."
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