French retail giant Carrefour has formed a joint venture with consumer goods distributor CFAO to develop stores across eight African countries.

Carrefour will take a 45% stake in the venture, which will look to open stores in west and central Africa.

The two companies are looking at markets including Cameroon, Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire.

CFAO, which hold the other 55% of the venture, distributes drinks brands from Coca-Cola to Heineken in Africa. It also handles pharmaceutical products and sells and distributes cars on the continent.

Carrefour said it will contribute its “expertise” as a multi-format retailer as well as the “strength” of its banner. CFAO, Carrefour said, has a “long-standing local presence in Africa” and has a “through knowledge” of the eight markets, which also include Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Gabon and Ghana.

The move comes at a time when Carrefour is scaling back in other parts of the world. Last week, Carrefour sold its stake in a venture that ran its stores under franchise in the Middle East and north Africa.

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That deal was Carrefour’s latest overseas sale. In the last 12 months, it has also sold stakes in ventures in Indonesia and Greece, with local partners keeping hold of the Carrefour franchise. The retailer has also offloaded its stores in Colombia to Chilean retailer Cencosud.