Carrefour has signed an agreement with AERIUM group to sell 13 shopping malls and sell and leaseback 19 hypermarkets in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Turkey. At the end of 2004, the group traded from 42 hypermarkets, 77 supermarkets and 239 discount stores in these four countries.
Aerium is a property investment company which invests in property in France and other major European countries. The transaction with Carrefour represents Aeriumâs first large scale investment in Eastern Europe.
The transaction will raise â¬376m and will take place in the first quarter 2005. The cash raised will be used to finance growth in a strategically important region in which Carrefour opened 68 stores in 2004 and reinforced its market position through the acquisition in Poland of 13 hypermarkets from Ahold.
The transaction is part of Carrefourâs ongoing strategy to divest shopping malls and to undertake sale and leasebacks of hypermarkets in emerging markets in local currency in order to finance new square metres.