PARIS — Luxury titan Bernard Arnault continues to build his stake in Carrefour SA, which has faced an uphill climb convincing investors of its turnaround potential.

This story first appeared in the November 9, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

In filings to French stock market regulator AMF on Monday, Blue Capital, the investment fund owned by Groupe Arnault and Colony Capital, disclosed that it crossed the 15 percent ownership threshold, controlling 16.02 percent of the share capital and 22.03 percent of the voting rights.

Previously, Blue Capital, already Carrefour’s largest investor, held around 14 percent of Carrefour’s shares and 20 percent of voting rights.

Last month, Arnault bought a smaller tranche of Carrefour shares, a move widely seen as a sign of confidence in the embattled operator of supermarkets and hypermarkets.

In Monday’s filing, Blue Capital noted that it plans to increase its stake further, but does not envision taking control of Carrefour or seeking more board representation.

Blue Capital began buying into the retailer, the world’s second largest behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in 2007.

Shares in Carrefour sank 2.6 percent Monday to close at 19.15 euros, or $26.39 at current exchange rates, on the Paris Bourse.

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