CC, Bakers among advisers on Carrefour's €250m Malaysia exit

Clifford Chance (CC) and Baker & McKenzie are among a group of law firms to have advised on the €250m (£200m) sale of Carrefour’s Malaysian operations to Japanese retailer Aeon Co.

The transaction, which closed last week, is part of a global cost-cutting plan by France’s largest supermarket chain.

Magic circle firm CC fielded a team of five representing Carrefour on the deal, led by French M&A partner Mathieu Remy and China-based corporate partner Emma Davies.

The firm, which acted as lead counsel, worked alongside Malaysian outfit Wong & Partners, which advised on local aspects of the deal, and US firm Baker & McKenzie, which handled tax issues with a team including partners in France and Asia.

Meanwhile, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto took the lead role for Aeon – a major player in Japan’s retail sector – with a team led by M&A specialist Seji Akimoto.

French retailer Carrefour is one of the largest retail groups in the world, with operations in Europe, South America, the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia. Having had a presence in Malaysia since 1994, the Paris-headquartered company had been the fourth-biggest retailer in the country, recording revenues of €400m (£320m) across its 26 hypermarkets in the year ending 30 June, according to Bloomberg.

However, in July this year the company announced plans to trim its global operations, with CEO Georges Plassat stating that the strategy would include pulling out of countries where it risked making a loss. Other Asian markets earmarked for exit include Indonesia and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Aeon hopes to have 100 stores in Malaysia – home to its Southeast Asian headquarters – as it seeks to expand overseas. The company also wants to grow in Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia.