French retailer Carrefour exits Greece via sale of JV stake

French retail giant Carrefour SA (EPA:CA) announced on Friday it had agreed to sell its entire interest in its Greek joint venture to the Marinopoulos group, thus entrusting the management of operations to its JV partner.

With the reorganisation, the French company enables the joint entity to meet the challenges of the prevailing economic environment in Greece, it said. The venture, called Carrefour Marinopoulos, will also get the chance to bolster its business model and consolidate its leading position in the country, Marinopoulos Brothers SA president Leonidas Marinopoulos said.

As a result of the stake sale, Carrefour will incur a charge of around EUR220m (USD277.9m) under discontinued activities. Following the transfer of shares, the former JV will act as exclusive franchisee of the French retailer in Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria as well as in Albania and some other Balkan countries.

The transaction is awaiting antitrust clearance and is scheduled for completion in the coming weeks.

Carrefour is a distribution group which operates via four grocery store formats, more specifically hypermarkets, supermarkets, cash and carry and convenience stores. At present, the group has more than 9,500 stores, according to its website.