French mass-market retail group Casino is in exclusive talks to divest almost all its hypermarkets and supermarkets to Les Mousquetaires and Auchan Retail.

The sale, which includes 313 hypermarkets and supermarkets, carries a fixed enterprise value of €1.35bn ($1.47bn), excluding real estate.

Casino said in a statement that real estate assets could also be added to the transaction.

The stores included in the deal registered total sales for 2022 of €3.6bn excluding value-added tax (without petrol).

All employees from the affected stores will be retained by the new owners.

Proceeds from the deal will support Casino’s planned financial restructuring and investment in the retained networks.

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By GlobalData

The retailer will also use the funds to support affected employees.

The companies will present their discussions for consultation with employee representative bodies, regulatory authorities and the governing bodies of Casino, Auchan and Les Mousquetaires.

In compliance with the lock-up agreement signed on 5 October 2023, the consortium led by Kretinsky’s company, EPGC, has already given prior approval for the exclusive discussions.

The transaction is subject to the completion of a financial restructure of Casino.

It is also subject to a binding agreement between the parties, expected to be completed before the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Casino shares ceased trading on 18 December 2023 and resumed on 19 December.

In November 2023, the retailer increased its stake in e-commerce company Cnova with the acquisition of CBD Luxembourg from GPA.