Paris: French retailer Carrefour is weighing a possible bid for its debt-laden rival Casino, potentially through an all-share deal, BFM TV reported on Wednesday.
Casino declined to comment and Carrefour was not immediately available for comment.
Carrefour has been examining a potential offer for several weeks, BFM said, citing several unidentified sources. Initial talk around a bid would value Casino at 4-4.2 billion euros, or a 25% premium to its market value at the end of June, BFM added.
Casino has been struggling against a tough business climate in France, where the impact of a price war among supermarket operators has dented retailers' profit margins.
Casino CEO and controlling shareholder, Jean-Charles Naouri, is hunting for ways to ease the company's debts - and those of parent company Rallye - in part through asset sales.
In May, Casino's parent Rallye was placed under protection from creditors. Last week, Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky and Slovak partner Patrik Tkac bought a 4.63% stake in Casino.
The two groups were already locked in a dispute last year amid talk of a Carrefour takeover bid for Casino. Casino came out in September 2018 saying it had rejected a tie-up approach from Carrefour, which Carrefour denied making.