Canadian convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche–Tard said on Tuesday it has initiated exploratory discussions with Europe’s biggest retailer, Carrefour SA, regarding a potential transaction.
There is no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in any agreement or transaction, Couche–Tard said in a statement.
As of Tuesday, Carrefour had a market capitalization of $19.56 billion and Couche–Tard‘s market capitalization was $47 billion.
Extended work-from-home policies and a resurgence in coronavirus cases in several countries have led shoppers to stock their pantries and avoid dining out or ordering in.
In a separate statement, Carrefour acknowledged Couche–Tard‘s approach to discuss a combination.
Bloomberg News reported earlier that Couche–Tard has made an initial approach to Carrefour, and a deal could help Couche–Tard diversify into the supermarket business and expand its presence in Europe.
In Europe, Couche–Tard operates a broad retail network across Scandinavia, Ireland, Poland, the Baltics and Russia through 10 units.
Couche–Tard entered the Asian market in November through a deal to buy Convenience Retail Asia Ltd’s Hong Kong unit for $457.81 million.