Is this the end of a long series? While rumors of a takeover of Casino have been rife for several days, Serge Papin, director of Auchan Retail International, confirmed on Thursday the existence of a joint offer with Les Mousquetaires/Intermarché to buy all of the hypermarkets and supermarkets not yet sold by the distributor in serious financial difficulty.
However, the bosses of Auchan Retail and Intermarché “Yves Claude and Thierry Cotillard have not necessarily submitted all the ingredients which constitute the offer”, specified Serge Papin, interviewed on BFM Business. He did not provide information on the price of the offer, nor the total number of stores, nor the distribution between the two buyers.
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For its part, Casino confirms having received “preliminary offers” from “several buyers” for its hypermarkets and supermarkets. “The Group will not provide details on the content of the offers which are currently being examined,” it states in a press release, adding that “any sale operation must be previously approved by the consortium” candidate for the takeover. of Casino around the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and the Frenchman Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.
“I believe that everyone made proposals, Carrefour had to make some, Leclerc had to make some too,” said Serge Papin, before defending the joint offer from his Auchan group and the Les Mousquetaires/Intermarché group which concerns “all (of the stores)”, a “reassuring” criterion from a social point of view, according to him. “Jobs are kept in the project” of Auchan and Intermarché, affirmed Serge Papin. “There will perhaps be some logistical tools” included in the takeover offer, “but it mainly concerns stores,” he said. Casino for its part indicated that it “will not give details on the content of the offers which are currently being examined” and adds that “any sale operation must be previously approved by the consortium” candidate for the takeover of Casino around the Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and the Frenchman Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière.
Intermarché already agreed with Casino a few months ago for the purchase of 119 stores, plus around sixty as an option. Around sixty changed brands at the beginning of October. Wednesday morning, the investigative media La Lettre indicated that two pairs of brands, Système U-Lidl on one side, Intermarché-Auchan on the other, had positioned themselves to take over all or part of the large format stores, Casino super and hypermarkets. “There is no alliance between Système U and Lidl for a purchase of stores of the Casino brand,” reacted on X (ex-Twitter) the CEO of Système U Dominique Schelcher, a spokesperson for the brand having previously “formally” denied the information. As for Lidl, it indicated a few months ago to the British fund Attestor that it was interested in taking over around 300 Casino and 300 Monoprix, another brand of the group in financial difficulty.