French retailer Auchan and Italian holding company Ifil have announced their intention to buy shares they do not already own in Italian department store chain Rinascente.

Ifil is controlled by the Agnelli family, which is better known for its control of car manufacturer Fiat.

The joint bid is said to be worth €735.4m (US$721.1m). The deal is likely to be finalised following consultation with Italian market authorities, and the share buyout is likely to start in November and finish in December this year.

The two companies currently operate the joint venture holding company Eurofind, which already controls a 58.6% stake in Rinascente. Auchan is planning to increase its stake in Eurofind from 49% to 50%, reported Reuters News.

Rinascente operates 16 department stores, the Upim discount chain, as well as supermarkets and hypermarkets, and has annual revenue of over €5bn.

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