Carrefour sells off its stake in Middle East JV

City A.M. Reporter
CARREFOUR, Europe’s largest retailer, yesterday agreed to sell its remaining 25 per cent stake in a Middle East joint venture to local partner Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) for €530m (£452m), MAF said in a statement yesterday.

Majid Al Futtaim Hypermarkets, the venture set up in 1995, operates 50 hypermarkets and 44 supermarkets under the Carrefour name in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia.

MAF will keep its exclusive franchise partnership with Carrefour until 2025, allowing the company to operate under the French retailer’s brand name in the region.

Carrefour sold €2.8bn of assets last year, withdrawing from Greece, Colombia and Indonesia, to raise cash for investments and shore up its balance sheet.

It sold a 12 per cent stake in another joint venture CarrefourSA in Turkey for €60m in April.

Unlisted MAF is keen to expand its operations and is said to be in talks to buy Egypt’s largest supermarket chain from family-owned Mansour Group.

MAF’s retail division had revenue of around $4.85bn in 2012.

Carrefour shares closed 4.7 per cent higher in Paris yesterday.