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Carrefour’s Turkish Partner Likely to Buy Out Chain, Erste Says

Carrefour SA’s local partner in Turkey will probably buy the French retailer out of its business there, according to analysts at Erste Group Bank AG.

The analysts give an 85 percent probability to Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS buying Carrefour’s 58 percent stake in the local Carrefoursa chain to add to its existing 39 percent holding, they said today in an e-mailed research note. The remaining shares are publicly traded on the Istanbul bourse.

“This is the most likely outcome,” Erste Group’s Gorkem Goker and Mehmet Zumrut said in the note. “Sabanci will consider the alternative of better operating the existing stores in the absence of a French contribution to management.”

Carrefour Chief Executive Officer Georges Plassat said Aug. 30 that the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based company will review businesses in Turkey and Poland as local competitors are better placed. Sabanci, Turkey’s second-biggest group of companies, has hired Rothschild to study strategic options for Carrefoursa Carrefour Sabanci Ticaret Merkezi AS and expects to complete the process this year.

Four Sabanci executives resigned from the board of the Istanbul-based retail chain on July 16, saying the French company isn’t supporting Sabanci’s goals.

Carrefoursa has about 250 stores in Turkey compared with the 4,000 operated by the country’s biggest retailer BIM Birlesik Magazalar A.S.

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