The French billionaire Bernard Arnault will sell the stake he holds in Carrefour, or about 5.7% of the group, after 14 years of presence in its capital, according to a press release from his holding company Agache published on Tuesday. Carrefour for its part clarified that this announcement “finalizes the movement of gradual exit of capital initiated in September 2020” by the boss of the world’s number one luxury LVMH.
At Tuesday’s closing price on the Paris Stock Exchange, the sold stake shows a value of around 757 million euros.
“After 14 years during which we have supported Carrefour as a long-term shareholder, we have decided to continue reorienting our investments”, explained Bernard Arnault in the press release.
The operation will be carried out via a placement reserved for institutional investors. Settlement and delivery of the placement is due on Friday.
Bernard Arnault had acquired a stake in the French retail giant alongside the Colony Capital fund in March 2007, while the Carrefour share price was hovering around 50 euros. At the time, AFP calculated that the 64 million shares acquired equally were valued at some 3.45 billion euros.
But the Carrefour share never regained these valuation levels and ended August 2021 below the 17 euros mark.
“For four years, Carrefour has achieved a remarkable turnaround under the leadership of Alexandre Bompard”, recently reappointed for a three-year term at the head of the company, said Bernard Arnault, who believes that the group “has all the assets to amplify its renewal “.
Alexandre Bompard for his part underlined having “been able to count on the trust and unfailing support of Bernard Arnault at each stage of the transformation of the group” Carrefour, which claims 78.6 billion euros of turnover in 2020 and more than 320,000 employees.
As of December 31, 2020, nearly 66% of Carrefour’s capital was floating. The distributor’s main shareholder was Galfa, a holding company of the Moulin family, which owns Galeries Lafayette, with 12.5% of the capital, ahead of Bernard Arnault and the Brazilian billionaire Abilio Diniz, via the holding company Peninsula Europe (7.65% ).
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