Carrefour snaps up 127 shopping centres
Carrefour joined a group of institutional investors to buy 127 European shopping centres in a €2bn move that gives the retailer more control of the sites around its hypermarkets.
The purchase from Klepierre adds malls spanning about 476,000sqm in France, Spain and Italy, the French company said. Carrefour will have a 42pc stake in a firm that combines the sites with 45 malls it owns in its home market.
After shelving a plan to spin off property assets in 2011, Carrefour is investing in real estate as part of efforts to make its largest store format more attractive to consumers amid competition from online shopping and stores in city centres.
Carrefour's third-quarter French hypermarket sales rose for the first time in more than two years as a turnaround gathered pace.
The purchase will have little impact on Carrefour's earnings, said John Kershaw, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas. "What the deal reminds investors, however, is that Carrefour cannot just 'sell its way to greatness'," he said.
Net rental income from all the sites, including the 45 malls Carrefour is placing in the new company, amounts to €172m, chief executive Georges Plassat said on a conference call with reporters. (Bloomberg)