Carrefour Shares Jump on Tie-Up Discussions With Circle-K Owner

PARIS — Shares in French retail giant Carrefour shot up Wednesday, rising over 10 percent in early morning trading after the company issued a statement saying it had been approached for a tie-up with Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard.

“Carrefour has been approached, in a friendly manner, by the Alimentation Couche-Tard group with a combination project,” said the French retailer in a statement. “Discussions are very preliminary,” it added.

The group behind Circle K, Alimentation Couche-Tard operates convenience stores and gas stations in North America and Europe, with franchise agreements in other parts of the world, including Mexico, Saudi Arabia, China and New Zealand.

Under the direction of Alexandre Bompard, Carrefour has been modernizing operations to meet shifts in consumption, bulking up omni-channel services through partnerships with Google and food delivery companies in a number of markets including Uber Eats in France and Belgium.

It has also bulked up its offer of organic produce, purchasing the French chain Bio C’Bon in November, and has emphasized local sourcing. The retailer earlier this month launched blockchain technology for its Tex Responsable bedding and apparel line, which will allow consumers to trace the origins of certain textile products products as well as their organic certification.

In morning trading, Carrefour shares were up 9.34 percent, or 1.44 euros, to 16.91 euros. Alimentation Couche-Tard has a market capitalization of $47 billion, while Carrefour’s market capitalization stands at $12.5 billion.

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