PARIS, Feb 19 (Reuters) - French supermarket retailer Casino’s Monoprix arm has started exclusive negotiations over buying online shoe retailer Sarenza, in a deal which Casino said would further reinforce its presence in the online market.
Sarenza generated sales of more than 250 million euros ($310.30 million) during its last fiscal year, and its planned takeover follows Casino’s e-commerce partnership with Ocado , signed last November, as Casino looks to build up the online presence of its Monoprix supermarket unit.
Casino, whose credit rating was cut to junk by Standard & Poor’s in March 2016, is under pressure to revive profits in France, its biggest market, where it now makes more than 50 percent of its sales, at a time of slower growth in Brazil, its second-biggest market by revenue.
“By acquiring Sarenza and its expertise, Casino Group will consolidate its position as French leader in urban online retail,” said Casino Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Charles Naouri in a statement. ($1 = 0.8057 euros) (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)