Chinese retail giant Suning said Friday it has acquired 80 percent of French supermarket Carrefour’s China business as it aims to tap online food sales and expand its physical presence.
Three months after the agreement was first announced, Nanjing-based Suning said in a statement posted on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange that it paid 4.8 billion yuan ($670 million) in the cash transaction completed on Thursday.
“The comprehensive digitization of retail elements is the first priority of traditional retail industry facing future development,” said Suning Holdings Group’s CEO Zhang Jindong in a letter to welcome 30,000 Carrefour workers in China.
One of the world’s biggest food retailers, Carrefour is in the middle of a major reorganisation after repeated losses.
The deal in June valued its Chinese operations at 1.4 billion euros ($1.6 billion).
Suning’s stock was up 0.49 percent at 10.32 yuan.
China’s economy is expanding at a slower pace after years of breakneck growth and Beijing has been pushing to boost local consumption amid a global economic slowdown and lingering US-China trade uncertainties.
International food retailers have had a rough ride in China.
German wholesaler Metro is in the process of selling its operations to a local bidder and British grocery giant Tesco pulled out of the Chinese market in 2014.
However US retail giant Costco saw shoppers swamp its first store in Shanghai in the opening days in August.
Present in China since 1995, Carrefour operated a network of 210 hypermarkets and 24 convenience stores in June.
An appliance seller and e-commerce platform running a network of over 8,881 stores in more than 700 cities, Suning purchased 37 department stores from troubled conglomerate Wanda in February and low-cost supermarket chain Dia’s full shares in China in 2018.