The Straits Times
Published on Oct 19, 2012

Carrefour sells Colombia assets to Chile's Cencosud for $3.1b


SANTIAGO (REUTERS) - Struggling French retail giant Carrefour is selling its Colombian assets for US$2.6 billion (S$3.1 billion) to Chile's Cencosud, pulling out of another non-core country to better defend its key markets.

Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, has embarked on a major restructuring under new Chief Executive Georges Plassat to cut costs and debt, and its withdrawal from Colombia follows exits from Greece and Singapore.

The deal gives acquisition-hungry retailer Cencosud a large footprint in Colombia, which like other Latin American economies is benefiting from a growing middle class and increasingly easy access to credit.

To finance the 2.0 billion euro (S$S$3.1 billion) purchase, which would be the biggest by a Chilean firm abroad to date, Cencosud said it had signed a US$2.5 billion loan agreement with JP Morgan Chase Bank.