DIA to Sell French Stores to Carrefour for $816 Million

Distribuidora Internacional de Alimentacion SA, a Spanish discount grocer, agreed to sell its French business to Carrefour SA less than three years after Carrefour spun off the retailer.

Carrefour will buy back the stores for an enterprise value of 600 million euros ($816 million), the Boulogne Billancourt, France-based company said today in a statement. DIA, as the Madrid-based retailer is known, has more than 800 French stores.

The French retailer spun off DIA in 2011 as part of a plan to focus on improving its domestic business, its biggest market, after a decade in which sales barely grew there.

DIA, which had 7,328 stores worldwide at the end of 2013 including the Schlecker and Clarel outlets, is focusing on growth in markets such as Iberia, Argentina and Brazil, while closing stores in countries such as China.

Last year, it sold its supermarket joint venture in Turkey to Yildiz Holding AS, ending a 14-year presence in the country.

The completion of the sale of DIA’s French stores is subject to final agreements following consultations with DIA France’s employee representatives and approval of antitrust regulators.

Carrefour fell less than 1 percent to 26.29 euros at the close in Paris today, extending its decline this year to 8.7 percent. DIA was little changed at 6.56 euros in Madrid. The stock has gained 1 percent this year.

(An earlier version of this story was corrected to say Carrefour is France’s biggest retailer.)

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