French supermarket group Auchan Retail has agreed to sell almost all the activities of its loss-making Auchan Retail Italia arm to Conad, the Italian co-operative retail group.
The French retailer had said in March that it was conducting a review of its loss-making markets, such as Italy and Vietnam where it has faced tough market conditions.
When asked about the financial terms of the deal, an Auchan spokesman said: “The business was in great difficulties. We are leaving to Conad a financial situation that will allow it to succeed with its acquisition project.”
With around 1,600 stores in Italy, Auchan Retail generated some 3.6 billion euros ($4.1 billion) in revenue in Italy last year.
In 2017, Auchan launched a three-year plan to modernize its hypermarkets, accelerate online expansion and focus more on smaller convenience stores. It already closed 23 loss-making stores in Italy last year.
The Italian disposal will be finalised following approval from the Italian competition authority, and the sale does not apply to the 33 non-franchised supermarkets located in Sicily or the 50 Lillapois drugstores.