Venezuela agreed to pay Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA 690 million US dollars for an 81% stake in the Saint-Etienne, France-based company’s local supermarkets, said Elias Jaua, vice president of the Venezuela’s official news agency, AVN.
President Hugo Chavez seized 41 Casino-run stores (CATIVEN) on February 15, accusing them of illegally raising prices after a devaluation of the Bolivar the previous month.
Chavez commandeered six Exito brand retail stores and 35 Cada brand supermarkets operated by Casino’s Cadenas de Tiendas Venezolanas SA local unit, and converted them into a state-run chain known as Abastos Bicentenarios. With the latest acquisitions the Venezuelan government now has “19.000 food outlets”, according to AVN
Casino will keep a 19% stake in the business, Jaua said on state television.
Sales at Casino’s supermarkets have totalled 2.38 billion Bolivar (550 million US dollars) since the state takeover, Jaua said. In October, sales increased 47% from the same month last year, he added.
“It’s a demonstration that when you sell cheaply, you sell more,” Jaua said. “It’s a lesson to capitalists.”