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Couche-Tard confirms merger talks with French grocery giant Carrefour

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Canadian convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. said Wednesday it made a non-binding offer of 20 euro ($30.97) a share for Europe’s biggest retailer, Carrefour SA.

The terms of the transaction are under discussion and subject to due diligence, but “the consideration is currently expected to be in cash in large majority,” Couche-Tard said in a press release. There is no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in any agreement or transaction, the company also said.

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As of Tuesday, Carrefour had a market capitalization of $19.56 billion and CoucheTard‘s market capitalization was $47 billion.

Extended work-from-home policies and a resurgence in coronavirus cases in several countries have led shoppers to stock their pantries and avoid dining out or ordering in.

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In a separate statement, Carrefour acknowledged CoucheTard‘s approach to discuss a combination.

Bloomberg News reported earlier that CoucheTard has made an initial approach to Carrefour, and a deal could help CoucheTard diversify into the supermarket business and expand its presence in Europe.

In Europe, CoucheTard operates a broad retail network across Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia through 10 units.

CoucheTard entered the Asian market in November through a deal to buy Convenience Retail Asia Ltd’s Hong Kong unit for $457.81 million.

— With a file from Global News reporter Erica Alini