February 14, 2019 / 7:00 AM / 2 months ago

French retailer Casino to sell catering arm 'R2C' to Compass

FILE PHOTO - A logo of French retailer Casino is pictured outside a Casino supermarket in Nantes, France, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French supermarket retailer Casino, which has been divesting assets to trim debts, said on Thursday that it had agreed to sell its contract catering business ‘R2C’ to Britain’s Compass.

The deal, which one source close to the matter said was worth 25-30 million euros (48 million pounds), was expected to close by the end of the first half of the year.

Last month, when Casino achieved a target set out last year of 1.5 billion euros in asset sales, the company had said it would examine further steps to cut debt.

Casino had its credit rating cut to ‘junk’ by Standard & Poor’s in March 2016. Its shares fell nearly 30 percent in 2018, partly on concerns over its balance sheet and parent group Rallye’s ability to refinance its debt.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Domininique Vidalon; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips/Jean-Michel Belot

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