French supermarket chain Carrefour Group (0NPH.L,CRRFY.PK,CRERF.PK) Friday said it will sell its ownership in the Carrefour Marinopoulos joint venture to Marinopoulos Group and will record a non-cash charge of 220 million euros related to the sale. Both groups have agreed on measures allowing the JV to meet the challenges of Greece is faced with.
Following the sale, Carrefour Marinopoulos will be the exclusive franchisee of Carrefour in Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria as well as in Albania and other Balkan countries. The transaction is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
Carrefour Marinopoulos is a Greek retailer. It was formed in 1999 as a 50-50 joint venture between the Greek Marinopoulos Group and Carrefour Group.
Leonidas Marinopoulos, president of Marinopoulos Brothers SA stated, "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."
In April, amid investor fury over the group's poor financial performance, Carrefour's board announced the replacement of its CEO Lars Olofsson with Georges Plassat.
Plassat joined Carrefour early in April as chief operating officer for a short transition period before being appointed CEO. He was most recently the chairman and CEO of privately-held French fashion retail group Vivarte group. Plassat earlier served as the managing director of Carrefour Spain from 1997 to 1999, and will now become its third CEO in the past four years.
Olofsson had informed the board that he would not seek the renewal of his mandate as chairman and chief executive officer at the next shareholders' meeting to be held on June 18.
Carrefour has been going through a rough patch, issuing five profit warnings in the last 18 months. Olofsson has been under pressure for some time from Carrefour's shareholders, U.S.-based Colony Capital LLC and French private equity firm Groupe Arnault to restore margins and profitability.
Carrefour shares are currently trading at 13.95 euros, up 2.01 percent, on a volume of 1.41 million shares on Paris.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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