French retailer Casino sells its stake in Brazil’s Assai

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Casino launched a sale of shares in Brazilian supermarket chain Assai on Tuesday as the French supermarket operator pressed ahead with debt reduction.

Casino said it would sell 12.9% of Assai’s share capital, representing 174 million shares. According to the French company, the sale is part of its previously announced asset sale plans.

Based on Assai’s closing share price of 16.69 Brazilian reais on March 13, the sale of the stake would be worth about 2.900 billion reais ($553 million).

Casino said the amount of the sale could be increased by up to 80 million common shares, representing an additional 5.9% of Assai’s share capital.

Casino owns a 30.5% stake in Assai, according to the Brazilian company’s website.

It also controls Brazilian company Grupo Pao de Acucar and said this month it would continue selling assets in Latin America this year.

Casino is also in exclusive talks to combine its French retail business with food retailer Teract.

(1 dollar = 5.2467 reais)

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