It’s a marriage that will never see the light of day. “Cdiscount is suffering enormously and Fnac Darty no longer has any interest” in buying the French e-retailer, explains a source close to the brand to BFM TV. “They no longer have stocks, no more sales and it no longer makes industrial sense to bring us together,” she adds. Indeed, the Casino subsidiary recorded a 25% drop in its turnover, shown in its third quarter results, published Thursday. Its direct sales fell by 35%. The cause is the behemoth Amazon, which leaves little room for its competitors in the online commerce sector.
If Fnac Darty abandons Cdiscount, the group nevertheless offered to buy it back for 500 million euros two years ago. But at the time, the CEO of Casino, Jean-Charles Naouri, refused this offer and expected double the amount. A wish that has never been granted by Fnac Darty. Last April, the general director of Fnac Darty, Enrique Martinez, even declared on BFM Business that such an operation “was not on the table”. Contacted, the group “does not wish to make any comments” to Le Figaro.
Fnac Darty is now eyeing other players, in particular the future of the German Ceconomy, one of the main shareholders of the brand. Behind this maneuver hides the billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, majority shareholder of the group at 25%. The latter thus wishes to buy back the 24% of shares held by Ceconomy in order to take control of the French group.
The brand also intends to regain market share against Amazon and has just joined forces with CMA CGM. At the beginning of October, it signed a preliminary agreement with Ceva, the logistics branch of CMA CGM, leader in delivery in France. A joint company, entitled Weavenn, will thus be created in 2024 and could deal a new blow to Cdiscount, if the group does not manage, by then, to turn around.