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UPDATE 1-Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim to expand Carrefour in Middle East with Geant stores buy
June 29, 2017 / 7:46 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim to expand Carrefour in Middle East with Geant stores buy

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DUBAI, June 29 (Reuters) - Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim , which operates the franchise of French retailer Carrefour in the Middle East, has acquired 26 Geant hypermarket stores in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait from BMA International.

Majid Al Futtaim, a holding company which also owns and operates shopping centres in the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement it had acquired Geant franchise owner Retail Arabia from BMA International.

The value of the deal, which also includes four Gulfmart supermarkets in Bahrain, was not disclosed.

All 30 stores will be rebranded under the Carrefour brand by the end of 2017 and existing employees will be retained. The deal covered the stores only and did not include Geant franchising rights.

"Our strategy is to continue to lead in the markets we are in; and the markets where we don't have a leading position, to build scale and a leading position," Majid Al Futtaim Chief Executive Officer Alain Bejjani told Reuters by telephone.

The acquisition increases the number of Majid Al Futtaim Carrefour-operated outlets to 80 in the UAE, 11 in Bahrain and 8 in Kuwait.

Perella Weinberg Partners advised Majid Al Futtaim on the transaction.

Bejjani said further acquisitions were being considered in retail, technology and digital, and leisure entertainment in markets where Majid Al Futtaim already has a presence. He did not provide details.

Bejjani also said Majid Al Futtaim was monitoring the situation in Qatar where it operates Carrefour outlets after four Arab countries this month cut off diplomatic, economic and transport ties with the country.

Majid Al Futtaim is not rethinking its growth plans for Qatar and there has been no negative financial impact for the company from the cutting of ties, he said.

"There is not a lot of visibility on how things are going to evolve so for the time being we are just going to monitor the situation and deal with the realities as they unfold." (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and David Evans)

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