SAO PAULO Oct 24 French retailer Carrefour SA
hired two investment banks to prepare an initial
public offering for its Brazil unit, according to a report
published on the website of business magazine Exame late on
The listing of its operations, including hypermarket brand
Carrefour and wholesale brand Atacadao, should begin in earnest
in January, according to the report, which did not indicate how
the information was obtained.
A representative for Carrefour declined to comment on the
report. In March, Carrefour Chief Executive Georges Plassat
denied that the group was planning a listing in Brazil. He later
said he hoped to prepare a growth plan for the market by the
beginning of 2014.
Brazil has provided Carrefour with robust sales growth as it
struggled with weak demand in austerity-stricken Europe. But
recent growth rates in Brazil have lagged the country's biggest
retailer, Grupo Pão de Açúcar, which is controlled by
French rival Casino Guichard Perrachon SA.
Carrefour is the second-biggest retailer in Brazil and its
local operations are worth an estimated 15 billion reais ($6.8
billion), Exame reported, based on revenue of 31.4 billion reais
Carrefour hired the investment banking unit of Credit Suisse
Group and Itaú BBA, a unit of Brazil's biggest bank, Itaú
Unibanco Holding SA for the preparations, according
to Exame. Representatives for Itaú BBA and Credit Suisse Group
could not immediately be reached Thursday evening.