French supermarket retailer Casino Group has reached an agreement to sell 26 hypermarkets and supermarkets properties worth €501m ($569.65m) to funds managed by Fortress Investment Group.

The proposed sale is part of the Casino Group’s target set out in June last year to achieve €1.5bn in non-strategic asset sales to reduce its debt.

The assets to be sold include 13 Géant Casino hypermarkets, three Casino hypermarket and ten Casino supermarket properties located primarily outside of Paris in the group’s traditional French operating regions.

Fortress Investment will pay €392m upon completion of the transaction in the first half of this year.

The remaining €150m is linked to the entity’s performance and is expected to be paid in the next few years.

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By GlobalData
“Casino Group noted that it will continue to explore further steps to reduce its debt, improve its profitability, as well as strengthen its financial profile.”

Funds managed by Fortress Investment Group will set up a new entity to purchase and manage the portfolio.

The new entity is aimed at increasing the value of the portfolio and pursuing the sale on the market under optimum conditions.

The agreement also allows the Casino Group to receive a stake in the entity.

Casino Group noted that it will continue to explore further steps to reduce its debt, improve its profitability, as well as strengthen its financial profile.

Last week, Casino Group agreed to sell six hypermarkets located outside the Paris region to Groupement E Leclerc in a deal valued at €100.5m.

The company’s full-year 2018 net sales stood at €36.6bn, while net sales for the fourth quarter increased to €9.9bn.