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Casino Says It Won’t Sell Monoprix to Galeries Lafayette

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Feb. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA said it isn’t interested in selling its 50 percent holding in the Monoprix supermarket chain and is ready to acquire full control from partner Galeries Lafayette SA.

“If Galeries Lafayette wants to sell its stake in Monoprix, as seems to be the case, Casino is ready to buy it, but at a fair price,” the Saint-Etienne, France-based retailer said in an e-mailed response to a report in Le Figaro newspaper that Casino is studying a disposal to resolve a dispute.

Casino and Paris-based department-store operator Galeries Lafayette disagree with each other’s valuation of Monoprix, with Casino estimating the stake at 700 million euros ($941 million) and Galeries Lafayette calculating it at 1.95 billion euros. Galeries Lafayette filed a complaint at the Paris commercial court over the affair, Casino said on Feb. 22.

Casino’s board is studying Galeries Lafayette’s offer to buy it out of Monoprix for 1.35 billion euros, Le Figaro reported today, citing Galeries Lafayette Chairman Philippe Houze. Casino’s lower valuation of the Monoprix stake is “very worrying” as it shows the retailer isn’t focused on the chain’s growth, Le Figaro cited Houze as saying.

Casino has “invested a lot in Monoprix” and “reiterates its confidence in the management and workers,” the company said today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Heather Smith in Paris at hsmith26@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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