Briefing

France objects to Couche-Tard’s US$20-billion Carrefour offer

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Though it represents a 29 per cent premium on the French supermarket chain’s Tuesday closing price, the Montreal company’s €20-per-share bid threatens France’s “food sovereignty,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: This is the first supermarket play for Couche-Tard, whose bread and butter is corner stores and gas stations. Analysts were quick to throw shade at the deal, saying there are no corporate synergies or cost savings to be had between Couche-Tard’s dépanneurs and Carrefour’s supermarkets. Perhaps Couche-Tard CEO Alain Bouchard thinks size matters. The merged company would be worth US$53 billion and become the world’s third-largest grocery retailer, behind U.S.-based Walmart and Germany’s Schwarz Group. It could also be a competitor to none other than Amazon.