French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon to sell stake in Thai supermarket chain for €3.1 bn

French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA yesterday struck a deal to sell its controlling stake in Thai supermarket chain Big C Supercenter Pcl to TCC Holding Co for €3.1 billion ($3.5 billion).

Casino Guichard-Perrachon sold its 58.56 per cent stake to TCC Holding, a company controlled by Thailand's richest man, Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, for 252.88 baht a share.

The offer is an 11 per cent premium to Big C Supercenter's 5 February closing price and a 28 per cent premium to 14 January, just before Casino said it planned to sell its stake.

The disposal will allow Casino Group to reduce its debt by € 3.3 bn.

Casino Guichard-Perrachon said that the transaction is expected to close by 31 March 2016 and will reduce its debt by €3.3 billion.

The purchase cuts Casino's debt in half and puts it well on track to reach its goal of raising €4 billion through asset sales this year, said Casino Guichard-Perrachon's CFO, Antoine Giscard-D'Estaing.

Big C Supercenter is a leading hypermarket operator in Thailand with over 120 hypermarkets located in Bangkok and other parts of the country.

Founded 118-years ago, Casino Guichard-Perrachon is the world's sixth-largest food retailer with 14,000 stores, employing 336,000 people and annual sales of €48.5 billion.

Over 58 of its sales are generated in fast-growing countries, mainly in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Sirivadhanabhakdi, an aggressive acquirer successfully wrangled an $11 billion deal in 2013 to take control of Singapore-listed Fraser and Neave (F&N) by outbidding Heineken NV, the world's third-largest brewer.

Last year, TCC Holding agreed to buy Metro AG's Cash & Carry wholesale business in Vietnam for €655 million.

Sirivadhanabhakdi holds vast assets, including hotels in Bangkok, Kobe, Hanoi, Singapore and New York, and beverage business of fruit juices and bottled water.