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PARIS (Reuters) -French supermarket retailer Carrefour said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy Grupo BIG in a deal that values Brazil's third-biggest food retailer at about $1.3 billion.
The deal is the first significant acquisition by the French food retailer since a possible takeover by Canada's Couche-Tard unravelled in January after opposition from the French government. Carrefour said last month it was "highly confident" it could accelerate its turnaround on its own and that smaller bolt-on acquisitions could help to spur growth.
Carrefour will buy BIG, which operates 387 stores and generated sales of 24.9 billion reals ($4.51 billion) in 2020, from Walmart and investment firm Advent International.
"Our Group is on the offensive," Carrefour Chairman and Chief Executive Alexandre Bompard said in a statement.
Carrefour already has a major presence in Brazil, where its subsidiary Carrefour Brasil is the country's biggest retailer by most measures and runs the Atacadão supermarket stores.
The group said the transaction valued Grupo BIG at an enterprise value of 7 billion reals ($1.3 billion).
The acquisition will be made 70% in cash and 30% through newly issued Carrefour Brazil shares. After completion, Carrefour Group will own about 67.7% of Carrefour Brazil versus the current 71.6%.
The retailer said the acquisition would provide a net additional contribution to earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 1.7 billion reals on an annual basis three years after the transaction closes.
Synergies would come from greater supply chain efficiencies, an acceleration of Carrefour Brazil's e-commerce and increased store profitability through higher sales density, Carrefour said.
($1 = 5.5214 reais)
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Kim Coghill and Sam Holmes)