France-based supermarket chain Groupe Casino (Casino) has decided to sell its residual equity stake in Brazilian retailer Assai to strengthen its liquidity.

The 157 million common shares represent 11.7% of Assaí’s share capital.

The value of the shares has not been disclosed, but Casino said that it will inform the market of the result of such a process.

In a statement, Casino said: “The sale will be implemented through an accelerated book building, executed by the Sao Paulo stock exchange (B3), in accordance with the applicable rules on this marketplace.”

The announcement comes a few months after the food retailer raised €723.2m ($769.85m) by selling 254 million Assai shares, representing 18.8% of Assaí’s share capital, to reduce its debt.

Following this sale, Casino could no longer control Assaí.

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Recently, Casino also entered into an agreement with the French government to defer payment of the group’s tax and social security liabilities.

This is part of the court-backed negotiations the retailer initiated with its creditors last month.

Last week, the retailer confirmed that it had received a preliminary letter of intent (LOI) from a group of investors to help strengthen its capital position.

In its first quarter financial result posted last month, Casino reported consolidated net sales of €5.4bn ($5.8bn), which increased 1.0% on a same-store basis.

The retailer had consolidated net debt of €6.4bn ($6.9bn) as of the end of fiscal year 2022, up from €5.9bn ($6.4bn) in 2021.