Canadian Couche-Tard will explore partnership opportunities with Carrefour following the failure of the acquisition plan

(Reuters) – Canadian Alimentation Couche-Tard and European retailer Carrefour SA agreed to work on partnership opportunities after acquisition talks failed, the two companies said in a joint statement on Saturday.

Couche-Tard dropped its € 16.2 billion ($ 19.57 billion) offer for Carrefour after the French government opposed the deal, citing food security concerns.

The Canadian firm had submitted a non-binding offer letter earlier this month to buy the European retail giant at a price of € 20 per share.

The companies said they have decided to extend their discussions to explore opportunities to share fuel practices, pool purchase volumes and partner with private labels.

“The areas discussed for cooperation are in line with our five-year strategic plan, as well as our commitment to strengthen our core business of convenience and fuel and pursue opportunities across multiple related growth platforms,” ​​said Brian Hannasch, chief executive officer by Couche-Tard.

BFM TV reported last Saturday that companies working on the basis of “industrial cooperation” could allow them to circumvent the French government’s veto that ended the deal.

($ 1 = 0.8280 euros)

Reportage by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Frances Kerry and Louise Heavens