The move by Canadian c-store giant Alimentation Couche-Tard to acquire French supermarket giant Carrefour for $20 billion has ended, as "French politicians gave a strong 'non' to the proposed take-over, calling it a matter of national food safety," Reuters reports.
It wasn't just food safety, though. Reuters writes that the move also may have been doomed by a political miscalculation by Couche-Tard's founder Alain Bouchard, who "made a misstep by not giving an early heads up to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who was extremely upset to learn about the deal from the media."
Reuters reports that "France's swift and firm rejection of the deal sparked a flurry of trans-Atlantic lobbying to salvage the transaction, but the companies ended their pursuit late on Friday. Le Maire reiterated his opposition without listening to the terms of the transaction, sources told Reuters on Friday, and said any such deal should not be revisited before France's presidential elections in 2022."
However, the French roadblock "is unlikely to end the global ambitions of founder Alain Bouchard. The low-profile Canadian businessman built Couche-Tard from a single store in Quebec in 1980 to a global network of convenience stores and gas stations with a market value of $33 billion, with 66 acquisitions along the way."