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French retail giant Carrefour has decided its Greek stores should be run on a franchise basis.

The company has sold its stake in its Greek unit to joint venture partner Marinopoulos, which will now run the stores in the country.

The deal, announced today (June 15) will lead to a charge of EUR220m (US$277.6m) for the French retailer, which said the sale will allow the stores “to meet the challenges of Greece’s prevailing economic environment.”

Marinopoulos will now become the exclusive franchisee of Carrefour in Greece, in addition to Cyprus, Bulgaria, Albania and the Balkans, also part of the joint venture between the two companies, which was formed in 1999.

Carrefour said the Marinopoulos family “is firmly committed and they are best placed to ensure its management in the current context.”

Leonidas Marinopoulos, president of Marinopoulos, added: “This agreement gives Carrefour Marinopoulos the necessary means and flexibility to refine its business model, continue to serve its customers and consolidate its leading position in Greece. We reaffirm our commitment to the Greek and Cypriot markets alongside our employees and suppliers who have helped make Carrefour Marinopoulos the leading retail banner in Greece.”

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By GlobalData

The transaction is expected to be completed in the coming weeks, subject to authorisation by the relevant antitrust authorities.