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Retailer Casino will sell Leader Price assets in France to Aldi

According to a Reuter article, Debt-laden French retailer Casino (CASP.PA) has agreed to sell 567 Leader Price stores in France, plus three warehouses, to German discount rival Aldi in a deal with an enterprise value of 735 million euros (670.6 million pounds), it said on Friday.

The sale of discount chain Leader Price marks the latest in a series of disposals by Casino as part of plans to cut debt and improve its financial position and its shares were up nearly 3% at 10:12 hrs.

Casino has struggled in the competitive domestic French market, where a price war among supermarkets has dented retailers’ profit margins.

Casino CEO and controlling shareholder Jean-Charles Naouri have also been seeking ways to ease the company’s debts - and those of parent company Rallye (GENC.PA), which was placed under protection from creditors in May 2019 - through asset sales and refinancing efforts.

Casino’s consolidated debt at end-June 2019 was 4.7 billion euros.

A group spokesman said on Friday that, including the Leader Price deal, Casino had sold assets worth 2.8 billion euros and was confirming its goal to dispose of assets worth 4.5 billion euros by the end of the first quarter 2021. The Leader Price stores generated revenue of 2.4 billion euros in 2019.

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