The French government is opposed ‘clearly and definitively’ to the acquisition of supermarket group Carrefour by a Canadian retail company. Minister of Economic Affairs Bruno Le Maire stated that in a tv interview. Earlier this week, Paris expressed concerns about the takeover talks between the supermarket chain and the Canadian Alimentation Couche-Tard, because any sale would potentially damage French employment and the food chain.

Le Maire stated to BFM TV that it had a ‘legal instrument’ to prevent the takeover. “In short, we say no. It is a friendly no, but nevertheless a clear and definitive no.”

This week it was announced that Alimentation Couche-Tard was conducting exploratory talks with Carrefour about a takeover. The Canadians considered a bid of 20 euros per share, giving them over 16.4 billion euros for the company.

Carrefour employs some 105,000 workers in France. This makes the company the largest private employer in the country. Possible job losses following a foreign party incorporation are very sensitive in France, especially now that there is a major economic crisis.

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