A French court has concluded that raids on Carrefour’s headquarters earlier this month did yield evidence of talks between the retailer and the Diniz Group over the future of Brazil’s CBD.

The verdict confirmed information disclosed to just-food by Casino on 20 June that bailiffs and IT experts had found documents establishing that Carrefour was in merger talks with the Diniz family, one of the two major shareholders in CBD. Some 22 mails were seized dated between 1 March and 1 June.

Casino, the other major investor in CBD, said the talks constitute a breach of its shareholder agreement with the Diniz family.

“The existence of negotiations between Carrefour and the Diniz group and/or its representative, the Estater bank, is today well-established,” the court said.

The court also noted the absence of a reply from Carrefour to correspondence from Casino on 23 May. Casino said no decision could be made on CBD’s future without the French retailer’s agreement under the shareholder deal with the Diniz family.

“We take satisfaction in the court’s decision which gives legitimacy to our action which seeks to ensure that our rights are respected in France, as well as in Brazil,” a Casino spokesman said. “It constitiutes an important element in our request to have this affair brought to arbitration,” he added.

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Last month, Casino filed for International Chamber of Commerce arbitration against the Diniz family.

When contacted by just-food, Carrefour declined to comment.