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Carrefour takes over Cora

Cora devient Carrefour

A new move in the highly dynamic mass retailing sector. The giant Carrefour has just acquired Cora and Match, two brands of the Louis Delhaize group. The experts at AURIS Finance, a consultancy specialising in mergers and acquisitions, take a closer look at this latest move on the market.

€1.05 billion. This is the amount Carrefour will pay to become the owner of Cora and Match. The deal is expected to be finalised in the summer of 2024, after consultation with the French competition authority (Autorité de la concurrence). With this acquisition, the global behemoth is strengthening its presence in France and taking over 60 hypermarkets and 115 supermarkets, which generated a turnover of €5.2 billion in 2022.

A small regional player

Cora and Match are both owned by Louis Delhaize Group, a family business founded in Belgium at the end of the 19th century. Over several generations, the group prospered and expanded into France. In the 1970s, it took advantage of the burgeoning hypermarket and supermarket phenomenon and opened its first Cora shops. It was a boom period for the group, which opened an average of one new hypermarket every six months, mainly in northern France, Meurthe-et-Moselle, and Bas-Rhin. At the turn of the century, the chain developed its own brands and launched its non-food brands.

Carrefour strengthens its French strategy

Carrefour alone has 12,225 shops in 30 countries, with sales of €80.7 billion. With a strong presence in South America and Asia, the French group has no intention of relinquishing its position in France, where it generates almost half of its turnover. In terms of market share in France, the Carrefour chain is currently in second place (19.8%), just behind Leclerc (23.5%). Intermarché is in third place with a market share of 15.3%. The acquisition of the Cora and Match hypermarkets and supermarkets will enable Carrefour to catch up with Leclerc and even overtake it. “The acquired shops are highly complementary to Carrefour’s geographical network, with particularly high market shares in the Grand Est and Northern regions of France, where Carrefour has little presence,” the group said in a press release.

The Casino group is still in turmoil

For the retail giants, this latest market move comes at a turbulent time. Casino has been in search of a buyer for months. Heavily in debt, the group entered a conciliation procedure at the end of May. Although two takeover bids were initially on the table, the entrepreneurial trio of Xavier Niel, Moez-Alexandre Zouari, and Matthieu Pigasse announced in a press release on 15 July that they would not be making a bid for the Casino group. This decision was prompted by a process described as “not giving all candidates an equal chance”. The only remaining bidder is the billionaire duo of Daniel Kretinsky and Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, who could inject €1.2 billion into the group to turn it around. Casino’s market share in France is 5.7%.

Our experts at your service

To achieve their growth targets, retail giants are snapping up smaller players with a strong local footprint. More moves are expected in the near future. They will undoubtedly have an impact on the entire value chain, from producers to suppliers. AURIS Finance’s experts are sector specialists. They can help you develop a long-term strategy and advise you on your sale and acquisition projects.

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