Intermarché is acquiring Carrefour's largest franchiser in Belgium

The French distributor Intermarché is acquiring all 87 Carrefour Market outlets that belong to Carrefour's largest Belgian franchiser Mestdagh.

Together, they have over 160 supermarkets in Belgium, mostly in the French-speaking South.

A surprising turn of events

Last December, the Mestdagh group had already announced that it would end its exclusive partnership with Carrefour from 2023. The group is Carrefour's main master franchiser in Belgium with 87 stores, but it has been facing financial and organisational hardship for years.

Yet, the acquisition by Intermarché comes as quite a surprise: the French supermarket group is already active in the Walloon region with 78 supermarkets. As such, it remains to be seen whether Intermarché will keep all Mestdagh stores open: it is possible that there will be cannibalisation in some places. Carrefour Mestdagh also has a number of supermarkets in Brussels and Flanders, where Intermarché has not been present until now.

"New major player"

In a press release, the company explains its decision: "The Mestdagh family has taken the decision to accept a takeover bid for the shares of SA Mestdagh issued by Groupement Les Mousquetaires for the Intermarché brand. This transaction will create a significant retail player in Belgium. With 87 supermarkets for Mestdagh and 78 shops for Intermarché Belgium, the new entity will have ideal coverage of its territory and will offer consumers the combined strength of the two groups."

"The objective for both companies is to combine their common values, family character and quality standards to strengthen the position of Intermarché in Belgium and to ensure the sustainability and growth of Mestdagh shops", the company adds. Subject to approval by the competition authorities, the takeover will be effective on 1 January 2023.

Source: Retail Detail EU