EXCLUSIVE France’s Auchan held talks with Niel-backed SPAC before failed Carrefour bid – sources

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LONDON, Oct 12 (Businesshala) – French food retailer Auchan unearthed a deal with a blank check company backed by telecommunications mogul Javier Neil and banker Mathieu Pigsé, before a failed attempt to tie up with rival Carrefour, in the case from Three sources familiar with the matter told Businesshala.

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The discussions took place between the billionaire Mullies family, which owns Auchan, and 2MX Organic (2MX.PA) – which was launched in December and was a Europe market leader for Special Acquisition Companies (SPAC), sources said , the sources said.

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A tie-up would have given Auchan an inventory, which would provide currency to negotiate deals and generate money to improve his hypermarket-focused business. But it would have been a leap forward for 2MX Organic, which raised money from investors promising to make it a European champion in organic food.

However, the talks failed to move forward, as Auchan forged an industry tie-up with Carrefour, which could have generated cost savings and procurement synergies, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as the matter is confidential.

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Auchan’s move to tie up with Carrefour (CARR.PA) and create a French market leader with 110 billion euros ($127 billion) in sales per year was called off in early October, leaving the firm empty-handed. Was given because the interaction with 2MX Organic is no longer. Active, sources said.

A spokesperson for Auchan denied discussions with 2MX Organic, saying the company was not for sale.

2MX Organic declined to comment.

Shares in 2MX Organic, which is also backed by entrepreneur Moez-Alexandre Zouari, made its market debut on December 9, making it France’s biggest IPO in 2020.

Dubbed the “Tesla of responsible consumption” by its owners, 2MX Organic has been on the lookout for a merger candidate since the beginning of the year, sources said, but has been finding a suitable target amid waning market interest in SPAC due to a regulator. has fought for. Action in the United States.

Sources said talks with Auchan hadn’t resumed after the Carrefour debacle, with 2MX adding organic working on another project.

SPACs raise money in the stock markets with the promise to buy out private companies and help them grow. But investor interest has waned after some poor performance and a growing number of class-action lawsuits as more deals flopped.

“SPAC sponsors are getting desperate to find targets and start looking at deals they may have never considered before,” said one of the sources. “Some are trying to realign their main focus to be able to accomplish their mission.”

According to Refinitiv data, in the third quarter, only 85 SPACs listed globally raised $14 billion, up from 309 that raised $95 billion in the first quarter.

Many SPACs have seen their shares fall so heavily that they are now trading below the $10 they were originally priced at.

($1 = 0.8661 Euro)

Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Gwenelle Barzic Additional reporting by Dominic Vidalon Editing by Mark Potter

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