PARIS, August 31 (Reuters) – Agache, holding company of businessman Bernard Arnault, announced on Tuesday that it had launched the sale of its stake in Carrefour, or around 5.7% of the capital of the large-scale distribution group.

This sale will be carried out as part of a placement through the accelerated construction of an order book reserved for institutional investors, a statement said.

“After 14 years during which we have supported Carrefour as a long-term shareholder, we have decided to continue reorienting our investments. With a high-quality management team and recognized family shareholders, Carrefour has all the assets to amplify its renewal, “said Bernard Arnault, also CEO of luxury giant LVMH.

The CEO of Carrefour, Alexandre Bompard, for his part praised in a separate press release “the trust and unfailing support of Bernard Arnault at each stage of the group’s transformation” in recent years.

Bernard Arnault’s withdrawal from Carrefour’s capital began in September 2020 with the sale of approximately 3.1% of the distributor’s capital held by Crédit agricole CIB to cover derivative transactions concluded with a subsidiary of Groupe Arnault.

The construction of the order book for the sale of the 5.7% held by Agache began on Tuesday and the settlement-delivery of the placement should take place on Friday, September 3.

The operation is managed by Société Générale, global coordinator, lead manager and bookrunner, with BNP Paribas and Natixis as lead manager and associated bookrunners.

On the Paris Stock Exchange, the Carrefour share ended Tuesday at 16.85 euros, valuing the company at just over 13.2 billion euros according to Refinitiv data. In 14 years, the group has lost more than 60% of its value. (Written by Marc Angrand, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)

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