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Alimentation Couche Tard Inc. - President & CEO, Brian Hannasch
President & CEO, Brian Hannasch
Source: Canadian Business
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  • Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.A) says it may revive its US$20 billion (C$25.54 billion) bid for Carrefour should a more favourable environment arise
  • On Wednesday last week, Couche-Tard offered to acquire the French retail giant at a price of €20.00 (C$30.82) per share
  • However, the proposed deal was dropped over the weekend after it ran into opposition from the French government
  • During a call with investors on Monday, Couch-Tard’s CEO said he would “love to do the transaction” should the French government change its stance
  • Alimentation Couche-Tard is currently up 2.24 per cent to C$39.31 per share

Alimentation Couche-Tard (ATD.A) says it may revive its US$20 billion (C$25.54 billion) bid for Carrefour should a more favourable environment arise.

On Wednesday last week, Couche-Tard offered to acquire the French retail giant at a price of €20.00 (C$30.82) per share, with such amount to consist either wholly or largely of cash.

However, the deal was dropped over the weekend after it ran into opposition from the French government, which cited concerns regarding the country’s food security. The decision came after a meeting on Friday between France’s Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire, and Couche-Tard’s founder and chairman, Alain Bouchard.

“Food security is strategic for our country so that’s why we don’t sell a big French retailer. My answer is extremely clear: We are not in favour of the deal. The no is polite but it’s a clear and final no,” Bruno said.

In absence of the deal, the two companies released a joint statement saying they would consider alternative arrangements, including matters related to fuel, pooling purchasing volumes and partnering on private labels.

“Building innovative partnerships is a key part of Carrefour’s transformation strategy,” said Alexandre Bompard, Chairman and CEO of Carrefour.

“The promising partnerships anticipated with North American leader Couche-Tard is fully aligned with this strategy, which has enabled us to return to a profitable growth path,” he added.

But, on a call with investors on Monday, Couche-Tard’s President and CEO, Brian Hannasch, said the company would welcome a second attempt at closing the deal should there be a change in the French government’s stance.

“We’d love to do the transaction … if we got signals that the environment could change or would change from the French government or other key stakeholders,” he said.

Analysts at investment bank Citi also thought there may be an opportunity to salvage the deal at a later date, noting that “the language and actions of Carrefour and Alimentation Couche-Tard suggest to us the parties would re-engage given even the slightest encouragement, whether now or in the medium term.”

Alimentation Couche-Tard is currently up 2.24 per cent to C$39.31 per share at 11:27am EST.

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