Carrefour has tabled a cash-and-share bid for French franchise retail partner Guyenne et Gascogne.

The world’s second-largest retailer this afternoon (12 December) announced its offer for its French peer, confirming days of speculation that it could make a bid for the business.

Guyenne et Gascogne operates six Carrefour hypermarkets and 27 Carrefour Market stores in France. The two companies own a venture, Sogara, that separately operates 13 Carrefour hypermarkets in the south-west of the country. Sogara also owns 8.2% of Centros Commerciales Carrefour, which operates the retail giant’s stores in Spain.

Carrefour said it would make a cash offer of EUR74.25 for each Guyenne et Gascogne share. Its bid also includes a secondary option that would see investors in Guyenne et Gascogne receive 3.90 Carrefour shares for each share they own. This option will be capped at 75% of Guyenne et Gascogne’s share capital, Carrefour said.

Guyenne et Gascogne investors representing about 57% of its shares have agreed to the offer. Some 50% have taken the option to hold shares in Carrefour. The Beau family, which holds a 21.3% stake in Guyenne et Gascogne, and private-equity firm First Eagle Investment Management have agreed to a 12-month “lock-up” on the Carrefour shares they will receive, subject to conditions.

The Guyenne et Gascogne board have “unanimously” recommended the offer, Carrefour said. The offer will open during the first quarter of 2012 and will need to receive approval from competition authorities.

The offer was not the only piece of M&A news announced by Carrefour today. It also said it would sell its 50% stake in Altis, a venture with Spanish retailer Eroski.