Carrefours shareholders have backed its plan to spin off the Dia discount chain

Carrefour's shareholders have backed its plan to spin off the Dia discount chain

Shareholders in Carrefour today (21 June) approved the retailer's plans to spin off discount business Dia.

At the French retailer's AGM in Paris, a meeting marred by union protests, the company secured the support of investors for its proposal to list Dia in Spain.

The plan had proved controversial with financial analysts questioning how much shareholders would benefit from the spin off. The proposal had also been opposed by some trade unions, who protested against the plan - and other parts of Carrefour's strategy - at the meeting in Paris.

However, a Carrefour spokesman told just-food that 77% of shareholders had backed the spin off. "We still think this is a good project. We think it will create value for Dia and Carrefour," he said. Under Carrefour's plans, Dia will be listed in Spain next month.

Some analysts had expected the plan to spin off Dia to be passed but there was a surprise announcement at the meeting, with Carrefour chairman Amaury de Seze saying he planned to step down from the role. De Seze said Carrefour CEO Lars Olofsson should take on the role of chairman.

At the time of writing, Carrefour was holding a board meeting and the spokesman said an announcement about de Seze's future could be made in due course. The spokesman said he expected de Seze to remain on the Carrefour board.

During the AGM, Olofsson stated Carrefour's commitment to its operations in emerging markets like Brazil and China.

Carrefour's operations in Brazil have been the subject of speculation, with the company rumoured to have held discussions over a possible merger of its unit in the country with local retailer CBD.

Olofsson declined to comment on the speculation but said Carrefour wanted to remain in control of its operations in Brazil.