Blog: Dean BestCasino, Auchan to push on with talks on buying pact

Dean Best | 26 April 2018

French retail giants Casino and Auchan have insisted they will press ahead with their negotiations over a possible buying pact after it emerged a potential partner for the tie-up, Systeme-U, is in its own talks with Carrefour.

Buying partnerships between France's food retailers have been a feature of the country's grocery landscape for a number of years but, in recent weeks, a kind of merry-go-round has emerged.

At the start of the month, Casino and Auchan announced they would hold talks on a purchasing alliance.

Systeme-U - which already teamed up with Auchan on purchasing in 2014 - had been given the opportunity to join this new tie-up. Auchan said Systeme-U had confirmed its interest.

However, yesterday Carrefour and Systeme-U said they were "in exclusive negotiations to make greater commitments in favour of French agricultural producers".

The retailers said they are holding talks over a possible five-year deal "that will involve purchasing negotiations with the biggest national and international brands".

We approached Casino and Auchan about what Systeme-U's talks with Carrefour would mean for their own discussions.

"U’s decision does not change anything to the initial project," a Casino spokesperson said.

"It was clearly indicated that this partnership was open and could, if necessary, open up to other actors. Everything that was written in the common press release between Casino Group and Auchan Retail remain a 100% valid."

Over at Auchan, a spokesperson added: "The Systeme-U decision doesn't change our strategy and the expected benefits. It doesn't change anything our project between Casino group and Auchan Retail. We are working forward with the other partners which were interested to join this new generation partnership.

"We will be ready on time to transfer the legal documents to the French competition regulation authority."

Sectors: Retailers

Companies: Auchan, Casino, Carrefour

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