French pork processor Cooperl Arc Atlantic has signed a draft agreement to buy Défi Viandes, a company operating around 80 high street butcher's shops for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, the Brittany-based co-operative said.

The shops are part of several brand chains and are located at city centre sites in Normandy, northern and central France and in the Paris region. They employ 500 staff and generate an annual turnover of more than EUR50m (US$70m).

The acquisition is part of Cooperl's strategy to diversify its activities and seek new outlets for growth in the high street butcher's segment which complement its traditional markets.