Carrefour to sell, lease-back 97 stores

Paris -- A Tuesday report by the Wall Street Journal said that French retailer Carrefour SA has sold 97 supermarket sites to an investment company for $477 million.

Carrefour, the world’s second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart Stores, will continue to operate the sites through 12-year leases under its Carrefour Markets banner. The company said the sales and lease-backs will allow it to optimize the use of its capital, which will be reinvested into other real estate.

Carrefour said it has multiple renewal options for the 97 supermarkets it has sold to La Francaise AM, a investment fund majority-owned by Crédit Mutuel Nord. The leases are worth 6.5% of the sale price, including transfer duties, Carrefour said.