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Carrefour to sell off its Taiwan operations for US$1.9 billion

Sale would reverse years of French company's expansion in Taiwanese market

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An image of Kweilin Street's Carrefour in Taipei. (Google Map screenshot)  

An image of Kweilin Street's Carrefour in Taipei. (Google Map screenshot)  

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — French retailer Carrefour plans to sell its Taiwan business in the next few weeks, Reuters cited three people familiar with the matter as saying.

The supermarket chain has hired Morgan Stanley to run the sale, which will start after summer ends, said the sources, who asked not to be identified as the information is confidential, according to Reuters. Carrefour has already spoken with a number of potential buyers, including private equity firms, they said.

Both Carrefour and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the matter.

If seen through, the sale would represent a reversal of Carrefour’s expansion in the Taiwanese market in recent years. Carrefour acquired food retailer Wellcome Taiwan in 2020, bringing 224 stores under its control, Reuters reported.

The sell-off would also be a shake-up for industry leader Uni-President Enterprise Corp. (統一) since it holds a 40% stake in Taiwan Carrefour, with Carrefour itself holding a 60% majority of shares, according to a UDN report on the matter. Uni-President said news of the sale is simply external speculation which does not warrant a response.

While it has expanded in Taiwan in recent years, Carrefour withdrew from the highly competitive Chinese market in 2019 after selling off 80% of its loss-making operations to electronics retailer Suning Commerce Group, per Reuters.