UPDATE 3-Brazil tycoon Diniz to raise Carrefour stake, eyes board seat -source

jueves 9 de abril de 2015 19:01 GYT

(Adds Peninsula's comment on Arnault stake in paragraph 4)

By Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Dominique Vidalon

SAO PAULO/PARIS, April 9 (Reuters) - Brazilian tycoon Abilio Diniz is in talks to raise his 5.07 percent stake in Carrefour SA and has the support of major shareholders to take a board seat in the retailer, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Thursday.

Diniz, who is Carrefour's fourth-biggest shareholder behind France's Moulin family, billionaire Bernard Arnault and private equity firm Colony Capital, could be nominated to the board at a meeting in July, said the source, who requested anonymity since the plans remain private.

The Brazilian tycoon, who earlier in the day announced that his Carrefour stake doubled from 2.4 percent recently, is in talks to buy part or all of Arnault's stake, the source said. A second source with knowledge of Diniz's thinking said he wants a board seat at the Boulogne-Billancourt, France-based firm.

Peninsula Participações, the investment vehicle managing Diniz's fortune, denied that Diniz has plans to up his Carrefour stake, seek a board seat or is in talks with Arnault over the latter's stake. Arnault's press office declined to comment. Efforts to reach the other companies were unsuccessful.

The Moulins, who own French department store Galeries Lafayette SA, are Carrefour's top shareholder with a 9.5 percent stake. Groupe Arnault and Colony each have a stake of around 7 percent.

To fund a purchase of more Carrefour shares, Diniz is considering selling assets that Peninsula has, such as a large portfolio of commercial properties and even a stake in BRF SA , the world's largest poultry producer, said the first source.

In an email to Reuters, Peninsula denied that it has intentions to sell its stake in BRF.   Continuación...