Special: Canada’s Couche-Tard drops $20 billion Carrefour takeover strategy – source

LONDON (Reuters) – Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard has dropped its 16.2 billion euro ($19.6 billion) bid to obtain European retailer Carrefour SA soon after the takeover program ran into rigid opposition from the French govt, a supply common with the make any difference advised Reuters on Friday.

The final decision to end merger talks arrived soon after a meeting on Friday in between French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Couche-Tard’s founder and chairman, Alain Bouchard, the supply explained, speaking on ailment of anonymity as the matter is private.

Couche-Tard and Carrefour declined to comment.

Previously on Friday, France ruled out any sale of grocer Carrefour on foods protection grounds, prompting the Canadian business and its allies to mount a very last-ditch try to salvage the deal.

“Food security is strategic for our nation so that’s why we really don’t offer a large French retailer. My response is exceptionally crystal clear: we are not in favour of the offer. The no is polite but it’s a very clear and ultimate no,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire reported.

The French go, with ministers capturing down the offer much less than 24 hours just after talks ended up confirmed, sparked disquiet in some organization circles around how French President Emmanuel Macron decides which foreign expense is welcome and which is not.

Some politicians and bankers said the pushback could tarnish Macron’s professional-enterprise graphic, though many others highlighted that the COVID-19 crisis experienced forced far more than 1 country to redefine its strategic nationwide pursuits.

The feedback sparked a trans-Atlantic flurry of lobbying and Couche-Tard’s Bouchard flew to Paris to describe the deserves of the deal to Le Maire, the source stated, incorporating the Finance Minister reiterated his opposition with no listening to the conditions of the transaction.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, questioned about the potential clients for a deal, said he would often be there to assistance Canadian companies thrive internationally and he spoke this 7 days to Macron.

($1 = .8282 euros)

Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia in London, Gwenaelle Barzic, Dominique Vidalon, Benoit Van Overstraeten, Michel Rose, Elizabeth Pineau and Sarah White in Paris, Allison Lampert in Montreal and David Ljunggren in Ottawa Enhancing by Alexander Smith