Things went quickly. To avoid leaks after the Board of Directors "strategic" yesterday, the leaders of Carrefour have made public immediately their project to the hard-discount domestic Dia and the land Carrefour Property.
In a release, they indicate that "the Board of Directors (...)". "has decided to submit to the staff representative bodies and shareholders of demerger of 100 of Dia and 25 of Carrefour Property." As expected, the wishes of shareholders meeting within holding Blue Capital, the Fund Colony Capital and group Arnault, have been fulfilled. And the Director General, Lars Olofsson, received confirmation of the maintenance of the majority control of Carrefour on the walls - and therefore rents - its hypermarkets.
"The demerger of 100 of Dia allow crossroads to concentrate fully on the development of the potential of the Carrefour brand and its core business, while allowing the shareholders of hub to benefit from the full potential of Dia.". "The demerger of 25 of Carrefour Property would contribute to strengthening the attractiveness and competitiveness of its sites and would allow crossroads to reveal the underlying value of its real estate assets" continues the text. The jurisdictions of the two operations are clear: outsource the deemed value hidden for shareholders; focus teams of Carrefour on the great challenge that is the success of the concept hub Planet to arrest the decline in the European hypermarkets of the group. Logic challenged by Union representatives of Carrefour in France as early as last night, saw no interest in the commercial dynamics of signs.
Technically, it is envisaged to carry out the distribution of the entire securities Dia held by Carrefour in the form of an exceptional dividend. Each shareholder in Carrefour receives a number of actions equal number shares Carrefour it holds. "The Dia would be listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange", indicates the release.
For operation crossroads Property if it is approved by the General Assembly of the Group of 21 June and Carrefour Property 23, would be similar, but would be 25 per cent of the capital. The rating would, she, to Paris.
In a recent note, the Nomura Bank valued Dia to EUR 4 billion, or 40 of turnover. Carrefour indicates otherwise, a value of EUR 10.4 billion to the 4 million square metres of its land assets. Financial balance of the operation would therefore result in a return to the shareholders of more than 6 billion euros.
Remains to know what will be the reaction of investors. With more than 6,000 stores, including about 2,000 franchised, located in France, Spain, Portugal, in Turkey, the Brazil, in Argentina as well as in China, Dia, who is born and piloted by Spain, has everything to live his life outside the group.
Carrefour Property, queries exist also. Keeping control, Carrefour means mastering the rents of its hypermarkets. What is critical to the profitability of the group, but that makes the land less attractive. In addition, Carrefour Property held in essence that the walls of hypermarkets, but not adjoining shopping galleries. They were sold, several years ago already, to Klépierre. What private hub of a lever available to Casino or Auchan. They can manage to nearest the surface of their hypermarkets in transforming square metres not profitable for some non-food shelves in shops into the Mall (the Saint-Etienne group reduces 1 its sales area on average every year). Carrefour will be less easy to achieve this type of arbitration.
Lars Olofsson will detail Thursday, at the presentation of the 2010 results, the contents of the two operations. No doubt that these analysts the assailleront of issues.