Casino sells Leader Price to Aldi for € 735 million

The French distribution group Casino announced on Friday that it had sold the French scope of its Leader Price discount brand to the German Aldi, with whom it had been in exclusive negotiations since the fall, for an amount of 735 million euros. This sale price includes a price supplement of 35 million euros, “paid in the event of compliance with operational indicators during a transition period”, specifies Casino in its press release. The Saint-Etienne distributor, who has been negotiating with its German counterpart since mid-September, claims to have signed with Aldi France “a unilateral purchase promise for the sale of three warehouses and 567 stores within the Leader Price scope in mainland France”, where they will develop under the Aldi banner.

On the other hand, Casino will remain the owner of the Leader Price brand “to continue to operate it under certain conditions agreed with Aldi, in France and internationally”. At 9:20 am on the Paris Bourse, the Casino share took nearly 4% to 35 euros, in a market up 6.17%. Casino, in search of liquidity for several months to pay off its heavy debt, announced on September 19 that it had entered into “exclusive negotiations” with the German group, while the discount sector is undergoing major changes in France.

2019 revenue down 5.46%

“The completion of this sale will take place after consultation with employee representative bodies and subject to obtaining authorization from the Competition Authority,” said the press release. In mid-January, Casino had announced 2019 sales down 5.46% to 34.6 billion euros, due to the withdrawal from the accounts of Leader Price, currently being sold to German Aldi. .

He then let it be known that he was revising downwards, from 10% to 5%, his forecast estimate of growth in current operating income (ROC), the flagship indicator in distribution. The group, led by Jean-Charles Naouri and whose parent company, Rallye, has just been validated its safeguard plan by the courts, must publish its annual results Thursday before the opening of the stock market.

(With AFP)