Big C Buys Carrefour Thailand

The purchase of Carrefour’s local hypermarket operations by French retailer Casino Group will break the lengthy market dominance by UK retail giant Tesco Group.

After the acquisition, Casino, whose Thai subsidiary is Big C Supercenter Plc, will own 111 hypermarkets against Tesco’s 87. However, if other retail formats are included, Tesco has 704 stores nationwide.

Carrefour Monday announced the signing of an agreement with Big C for the divestment of its Thai operations for €868 million (35.4 billion baht).

That price represents 120 per cent of the net sales of the business that is being sold and 13 times the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

The French retailer decided to sell its assets in Southeast Asia including Thailand to focus on markets in which it leads.

It is the fifth-biggest player in organised food distribution in the country, with a market share of 6 per cent and net sales of €723 million over the twelve-month period ending this past June 30.

Casino’s Big C is the second-largest hypermarket operator in Thailand, with 69 stores and net sales of €1.7 billion over the same period.

The transaction is expected to be completed in next year’s first quarter.

Shares of Big C were suspended from trading on the Stock Exchange of Thailand early Monday morning pending clarification of information related to the acquisition.

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