Breaking News
Black Friday SALE: Up to 54% off InvestingPro! Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Exclusive: France's Auchan held talks with Niel-backed SPAC before failed Carrefour bid - sources

Stock MarketsOct 12, 2021 12:12PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shopping trolleys are seen in an Auchan hypermarket in Nice, France March 6, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

By Pamela Barbaglia and Gwénaëlle Barzic

LONDON (Reuters) - French food retailer Auchan explored a deal with a blank cheque company backed by telecoms mogul Xavier Niel and banker Matthieu Pigasse before a failed attempt to tie up with rival Carrefour (PA:CARR), three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Discussions between the billionaire Mulliez family, which owns Auchan, and 2MX Organic - which was launched in December and pioneered Europe's market for special acquisition companies (SPACs) - were held over the summer, the sources said.

A tie-up would have given Auchan a listing, providing a currency to do deals and generate funds to revamp its hypermarket-focused business. But it would have been a leap for 2MX Organic, which raised money from investors pledging to build a European champion in organic food.

The talks failed to progress, however, as Auchan pursued an industry tie-up with Carrefour that could have generated cost savings and buying synergies, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is confidential.

Auchan's move to combine with Carrefour and create a French market leader with 110 billion euros ($127 billion) of sales per year was called off in early October, leaving the firm empty-handed as talks with 2MX Organic are no longer active, the sources said.

A spokesman for Auchan denied discussions with 2MX Organic, adding the company was not for sale.

2MX Organic declined to comment.

Shares in 2MX Organic, which is also backed by entrepreneur Moez-Alexandre Zouari, spiked on their market debut on Dec. 9, making it France's biggest IPO in 2020.

Dubbed by its owners "the Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) of responsible consumption", 2MX Organic has been looking for a merger candidate since the start of the year, the sources said, but has struggled to find a suitable target amid waning market interest in SPACs due to a regulatory crackdown in the United States.

The sources said talks with Auchan were not resumed after the Carrefour debacle, with one adding 2MX Organic was now working on another project.

SPACs raise money on stock markets with the promise of buying private companies and helping them grow. But investor interest has waned after some poor performances and a rising number of class-action lawsuits as more deals have turned into flops.

"SPAC sponsors are getting desperate to find a target and have started looking at deals that they would have never considered before," one of the sources said. "Some are trying to rejig their core focus to be able to fulfil their mission."

In the third quarter, only 85 SPACs listed globally, raising $14 billion, down from 309 that raised $95 billion in the first quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

Many SPACs have seen their shares fall so heavily they now trade below the $10 at which they were originally priced.

($1 = 0.8661 euros)

Exclusive: France's Auchan held talks with Niel-backed SPAC before failed Carrefour bid - sources

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email