Couche-Tard and Carrefour Abandon Takeover Talks

Shopping carts outside a Carrefour SA hypermarket in Avignon, France, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. plans to pump 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) into Carrefour as the Canadian convenience-store operator seeks to defuse mounting French political concerns over the proposed $20 billion takeover of the French retailer.
Shopping carts outside a Carrefour SA hypermarket in Avignon, France, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. plans to pump 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) into Carrefour as the Canadian convenience-store operator seeks to defuse mounting French political concerns over the proposed $20 billion takeover of the French retailer.

(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Carrefour SA broke off talks on a $20 billion deal in the face of strong opposition from France’s finance minister to the tie-up, according to people familiar with the matter.

The decision to halt negotiations came after top executives of the Canadian convenience-store operator flew to Paris this week to offer the government several sweeteners: billions of euros of investment in Carrefour supermarkets, no job cuts for at least two years and dual stock listings in France and Canada.

It was not enough to persuade Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who told executives in a private meeting Friday that he was standing by his position that a takeover would be bad for France. Earlier, Le Maire said on BFM TV: “To sum up: it’s a no. A courteous no, but a no that is clear and definitive.”