Tuesday, September 7, 2010


NEW YORK: The move by French hypermarket chain, Carrefour, to sell its stores in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand has generated interests in the US.

US institutions involved in merger and acquisition activities are closely monitoring the developments. Almost all major US dailies, including some local provincial newspapers, have been carrying reports about it.

“Carrefour’s move is of interest for businesses here because many, like the French retailer, are also eyeing the emerging markets of China and India for further growth,” a Wall Street analyst told Bernama. Carrefour is keen to move to India where it sees a huge middle-class consumer base with big purchasing power and appetite for foreign consumer goods.

The analyst said major US stores, which were interested to enter India, were trying to “learn” from the experiences of Carrefour’s bid to penetrate the Indian market.

Foreign retailers have devised a way to circumvent the restrictive regulations that do not allow retailing by foreign companies.

They have to set up wholesale operations to comply with the maze of Indian regulations.

The offers for Carrefour’s 69 outlets in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand were supposed to have been received last Wednesday.

Among those bidding were reportedly Japanese rival Aeon, Britain’s Tesco and France’s Casino Gulchard-Perrachon SA.

Aeon’s bid has not surprised US analysts who said that the Japanese firm had previously acquired Carrefour’s assets in Japan in 2005. Also in the race are Singaporean firms – NTUC FairPrice and the Dairy Farm International Ltd. — Bernama

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