PARIS — French department store group Groupe Galeries Lafayette has agreed to sell French retail group Casino its 50 percent stake in their joint venture Monoprix for 1.18 billion euros, or $1.46 billion at current exchange, ending a long-running dispute over the value of the store chain.
Under a signed letter of intent, Galeries Lafayette will sell Casino its stake by Oct. 30, 2013. They also pledged to end legal proceedings against each upon completion of the sale.
Under the agreement, Casino chairman and chief executive officer Jean-Charles Naouri will join the Monoprix board.
Galeries Lafayette ceo Philippe Houzé will stay on as head of Monoprix until the sale is finalized. In an interview with the French daily Le Figaro published on Saturday, Houzé said he now planned to focus on Galeries Lafayette, which he wants to make the number-one French brand in ready-to-wear.
“In order to achieve this, the group is ready to acquire mid- to high-end brands. We also have ambitions in the jewelry segment,” he was quoted as saying by the paper. Officials at Galeries Lafayette were not immediately available to comment.