E.Leclerc negotiates the acquisition of about sixty Giant Casino. The transaction would exceed 1.5 billion euros. On a fleet of about 80 Géant hypermarkets still held by the Casino group, the latter would keep only twenty located in the south-east and that of Annemasse, near Geneva, deemed the most profitable network. This transaction, if it were to succeed, would constitute a major operation for the group of Michel Edouard Leclerc. Casino’s total hypermarket business weighs 4.5 billion euros. Already leader of the distribution in France with nearly 22% of market share, the champion of low prices would thus reinforce its domination. At this stage, according to a source close to the file, no binding legal document has however been signed between the two parties. Moreover, the deal would not fail to be submitted to the Competition Authority.
For its part, the Casino Group is pursuing a forced sell-off plan to reduce its heavy debts by 4.7 billion euros. The strategy of Jean-Charles Naouri is today to refocus, in Europe, on three activities: proximity with Franprix, premium with Monoprix, and digital with Cdiscount. Apart from the Brazilian subsidiary, all the rest is intended to be wholly or partly sold, the Indian Ocean branch, the collective catering and especially the walls of the stores. Added to this is a major cleaning operation, with the closure or sale of deficit stores. Or, at the last count 118 closures and 56 hypermarkets or supermarkets. In August, Casino again raised its asset disposal plan from 2.5 to 4.5 billion euros by the first quarter of 2021.