Casino to Sell Six Stores to Leclerc for About 100 Million Euros

(Bloomberg) -- Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA agreed to sell six loss-making Géant hypermarkets across France to current grocery-market leader Groupement E. Leclerc for 100.5 million euros ($114 million.)

The stores, located outside Paris, are “the least performing” in its network and accounted for a total trading loss of about 8 million euros in 2018, Casino said in a statement on Saturday. The disposals are expected to be carried out in the first half of this year and will provide for the continuation of the employment contracts of the stores’ staff.

Casino on Thursday reported fourth-quarter sales that beat estimates despite social unrest in France that prompted some customers to shift from stores to its e-commerce platform. The retailer came under scrutiny last year for its corporate complexity and debt levels, and its rating was cut further into junk territory by S&P Global Ratings in September.

The sale of these hypermarkets are not part of its plan to dispose non-core assets announced last year, Casino said. In June, the retailer had announced plans to divest 1.5 billion euros of assets such as store sites in a bid to cut its debt. It agreed to sell real estate underlying 55 of its Monoprix stores for 565 million euros in October.

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