Carrefour shares surge on Couche-Tard merger talk

Carrefour shares surged Wednesday (January 13) morning on talk of a possible merger.

The stock jumped by over 13 percent after Canadian convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard said it had opened discussions.

Analysts said consolidation was widely expected in Europe's supermarket sector.

But some questioned whether the two would make good partners.

Carrefour is Europe's largest retailer, and focused on big stores.

Couche-Tard operates smaller convenience outlets, mostly in North America.

With little geographical overlap, some see limited opportunity for synergies.

For now the Canadian firm says there's no guarantee that the talks will result in a deal.

Carrefour called the approach 'friendly', and said the talks were preliminary.

Back in 2018, it launched a five-year overhaul plan intended to cut costs and boost e-commerce.

Last year it benefited from a surge in demand from consumers stuck at home.