UPDATE 1-Carrefour stays in Turkey in minority role

Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:44pm EDT

* Carrefour sells 12 pct stake in CarrefourSA for 60 mln euros

* Sabanci becomes majority shareholder with 50.8 pct stake

* Move ends suspense over Carrefour's plans in Turkey (Adds details from statement)

PARIS, April 30 (Reuters) - Carrefour, Europe's largest retailer, said on Tuesday it was staying in Turkey but selling a 12 percent stake in local venture CarrefourSA to joint venture partner Sabanci Holding for 60 million euros ($79 million).

After the deal, expected to close by July, Sabanci will become majority shareholder with a 50.8 percent stake while Carrefour will retain a 46.2 percent stake, the statement said.

The move ends months of suspense over the French retailer's plans in Turkey, a country it entered in 1993, but where it lagged bigger local players such as BIM and Migros Ticaret .

"Sabanci Holding will thus lead the next stage of development, putting its knowledge of the country and the market at the service of its joint venture with Carrefour," the statement said.

Carrefour initially held 58.2 percent of CarrefourSA, Sabanci 38.8 percent, with the remaining 2.2 percent publicly traded.

Last year Sabanci had said it was not happy with the performance of CarrefourSA, which operates 28 hypermarkets and 215 supermarkets in Turkey, generating sales of 1.1 billion euros.

Carrefour had said it was reviewing the situation but had not given any steer as to whether it would stay or exit Turkey.

Carrefour, the world's largest retailer after Wal-Mart , sold 2.8 billion euros of assets last year, withdrawing from Greece, Colombia and Indonesia to raise cash to revive its ailing European hypermarket business and expand in key emerging makets China and Brazil. ($1 = 0.7585 euros) (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Elena Berton and Patrick Graham)

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