Carrefour is in talks with its main franchise operator over a "business combination"

Carrefour is in talks with its main franchise operator over a "business combination"

Shares in supermarket franchise operator Guyenne et Gascogne were suspended today (12 December) ahead of an impending announcement on its talks with retail giant Carrefour.

On Thursday (8 December) Carrefour and Guyenne et Gascogne, a key franchise partner, announced they were in talks about a "business combination", but refused to comment further. Industry watchers say Carrefour is looking to acquire a partial or full stake in the smaller firm.

A spokeswoman from Guyenne at Gascogne said a statement will be released this afternoon but would not elaborate on the content. A spokesman from Carrefour did not comment on the announcement.

The two companies own a joint venture, Sogara, which operates 13 Carrefour hypermarkets in south-west France. Sogara also owns 8.2% of Centros Commerciales Carrefour, which operates Carrefour stores in Spain. Guyenne et Gascogne itself also operates six Carrefour hypermarkets and 27 Carrefour Market supermarkets in France.