Retail: Geant’s Owners Plan Majority Stake Sale

The owners of the Geant Hypermarket chains in the Middle East are planning to sell a controlling stake in a deal which could fetch about $500 million, according to people familiar with the matter”, says Bloomberg.

The business, which is a franchise of French grocery retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA operated by Dubai-based BMA International Group, has appointed BNP Paribas SA to advise on a sale, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Advisers have contacted potential bidders, which are likely to be large, family-owned companies in the region as well as private equity firms, the people said. No final agreements have been reached and sale talks may still falter, they said.

The company’s shareholders engage in strategic discussions from time to time to raise capital and expand, a representative for BMA said in an e-mail without providing specific details or further comment. Representatives for BNP and Casino declined to comment.

Geant began its Middle East operations in 2001 with a store in Bahrain. The company has stores in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, according to its website.