Carrefour defers Property IPO, French chief leaves

PARIS Thu May 5, 2011 1:47am EDT

PARIS May 5 (Reuters) - Europe's largest retailer, Carrefour CAR.PA, said on Thursday it had asked its board to defer the planned listing of a 25 percent stake in real estate unit Carrrefour Property.

The group said it would stick to its plans to spin off 100 percent of Spanish discount unit Dia, however.

Carrefour also said James McCann, executive director for France, was leaving the company and that Chief Executive Lars Olofsson would take over the operational management of Carrefour France pending the appointment of a successor.

Carefour confirmed in the statement its target to grow sales and current operating income in 2011.

Carrefour had come up with a plan to float all of its Dia discount unit and part of its real estate division and deliver 4 billion euros ($5.59 billion) in special dividends in response to dissatisfaction from key shareholders Colony Capital and Groupe Arnault with its underperforming share price.

But thre had been mounting opposition to the plan ranging from activist shareholder Knight Vinke, European shareholder rights group Deminor, French minority shareholder association APPAC to French labour unions and founding family shareholder Defforey. ($1=.7158 Euro) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan)