One of France's largest shopping centre developers has won the race to buy a stake in Rungis, the world's largest wholesale market.

The French government selected Altarea from a shortlist of bidders to acquire a one-third stake in Rungis' management company Semmaris.

The deal values the Paris wholesale market at EUR104m (US$148m) and will be ratified by the end of the year, once formal consultations have been completed.

The announcement ends speculation over the future of the 56.7% state holding in Rungis. The choice of Altarea, with its EUR1.6bn portfolio and international experience, will boost Semmaris' property development expertise and help it pursue overseas projects in countries like China.