French grocery giant Carrefour is to refocus on Europe and Latin America after confirming the sale of Carrefour Taiwan.
Carrefour has signed an agreement to sell its 60% equity interest in Carrefour Taiwan to its long-term partner and co-shareholder Uni-President in a $2 billion deal just over a month after confirming that its acquisition of Grupo BIG in Brazil had gone through.
The closing of the transaction is subject to the approval by the Taiwanese competition authorities (TFTC) and is expected to complete by mid-2023.
Created in 1987 through a 60/40% joint venture between Carrefour and Uni-President, Carrefour Taiwan has grown to 340 stores, of which 68 are hypermarkets and 272 supermarkets and premium stores, as well as 129 shopping malls, employing nearly 15,000 people.
After completion, Uni-President group will become the sole owner of Carrefour Taiwan and last year Carrefour Taiwan generated net sales of $2.54 billion.
Uni-President group is a leading diversified Taiwanese based conglomerate with a strong footprint in Asia and manages 7-Elevenin Taiwan. Its core business includes food manufacturing and investments in feeds, flour, edible oils, soy sauce, meat and dairy products.
Carrefour Taiwan will continue using the Carrefour brand in Taiwan and will be part of the wide network of Carrefour brand licensees in over 40 countries.
Carrefour Looks to Brazil For Growth
“After the completion of Grupo BIG acquisition in Brazil last June, this transaction will refocus Carrefour on its core strategic regions in Europe and in Latin America,” said the French grocer in a statement.
Shares in French food retailer Carrefour rose moderately 1.5% Wednesday after sparking hopes among some investors it could use the extra firepower to buy back shares, while shares in Uni-President Enterprises Corp. also saw a modest uptick on expectations that the Taiwanese company will increase its market share.
“We have a positive read from the transaction as we believe adding another strong retail brand under the group can further grow its shares in Taiwan’s retail market,” Citi analyst Angela Hsu said in a note, adding that having full control will allow Uni-President to sell more of its products while strengthening its brand image.
Last month, Grupo Carrefour Brasil (Carrefour Brazil) confirmed it had completed the $1.38 billion acquisition of Grupo BIG from Advent International and Walmart Inc.
The transaction allows Carrefour to expand in its traditional formats, notably cash & carry and hypermarkets, while extending formats in which it has a more limited presence, notably supermarkets. In addition, Carrefour Brazil will operate Sam’s Club in Brazil through a license agreement with Walmart. The combined entity operates more than 1,000 stores in the country, representing close to 25% of the total retail market in Brazil.
Grupo BIG Converts To Carrefour
Grupo BIG stores will be converted to Carrefour stores in the coming months while 14 stores will be disposed of by year-end to meet competition requirements.
Carrefour Group now owns around 67.7% of Carrefour Brazil (71.6% previously), Península Participações 7.2% and Advent International and Walmart, through affiliates, 5.6% combined.
Alexandre Bompard, chairman and CEO of Carrefour Group and future chairman of Carrefour Brazil, said: “With the acquisition of Grupo BIG, we are completing a strategic move, not only for Carrefour in Brazil, but for the group as a whole. Our history in Brazil is a perfect reflection of our ambition: within a few years, we conquered leadership, created a vast ecosystem of formats and services and built a powerful and committed powerhouse – while still benefitting from a huge potential for additional growth.”
With more than 13 000 stores in 40 countries, the Carrefour Group is one of the world’s leading food retailers and recorded gross sales of nearly $83 billion in 2021. It employs more than 320,000 people worldwide.