Carrefour / Couche-Tard: Bompard at odds with the government on sovereignty

CARREFOUR / COUCHE-TARD: BOMPARD DISAGREES WITH THE GOVERNMENT ON SOVEREIGNTY

PARIS (Reuters) – The French government was wrong to rely on the argument of sovereignty to block the proposed takeover of Carrefour by Alimentation Couche-Tard, CEO of the French distribution group, Alexandre Bompard, said on Monday.

“The government made a decision early on, on a project that was not stopped,” the leader told BFM.

“Carrefour is not an enterprise of sovereignty. No one can think that the sovereignty of France depends on the mass distribution”, he added. “The argument is not the right one”.

“Pharmaceuticals, defense, these industries are companies of sovereignty. This is not the case with distribution,” he added.

Alexandre Bompard assured that the Couche-Tard episode was “behind us”. “The page is turned,” he said, while assuring that the group would continue to grow.

“We have the means to achieve our ambitions, we are not on the defensive,” he said.

Asked about a possible interest in rival Casino, the CEO of Carrefour has ruled out any operation for the time being.

“We do not see in France today any opportunities to strengthen us (…) There is no subject today Casino, there are no subjects of massive acquisitions in France”.

(Nicolas Delame and Blandine Hénault)

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