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3 lessons from the Carrefour mess for M&A buyers eyeing Europe


Canadian convenience store operator Couche Tard won’t acquire French retail giant Carrefour, as could have been predicted just hours after the two groups announced they had engaged in “friendly” talks: The writing was on the wall as soon as French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire said he wasn’t in favor of the deal. You don’t buy France’s largest private-sector employer without the green light of the French government. That was true before the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has become even truer afterward.

After a bounce due to the 30%-plus premium the Canadian group said it was willing to pay for the French group for a total of more than…


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