29 de abril de 2015 / 13:12 / hace 3 años

UPDATE 1-Galeries Lafayette owner eyes two Carrefour board seats-source

* Moulin family is Carrefour’s largest shareholder

* Diniz spokesman says no plans to ask for board seat at June AGM

* Carrefour declines comment (Adds details, Diniz spokesman)

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, April 29 (Reuters) - France’s Moulin family, which this year became Carrefour’s top shareholder, will request two board seats at the French retailer’s next annual shareholder meeting on June 11, a source close to the matter said on Wednesday.

The move reflects a re-balancing of influence at Carrefour towards retail specialists like the Moulins and Brazilian tycoon Abilio Diniz, who this month said he had doubled his stake to become Carrefour’s fourth-largest shareholder, say analysts.

The Moulin family, which owns French department store Galeries Lafayette, sees its investment in Carrefour as a diversification in a retail sector it knows very well.

“Patricia Lemoine, the daughter of Ginette Moulin, and Philippe Houze will be proposed,” the source told Reuters.

Moulin is the grand-daughter of Galeries Lafayette founder Theophile Bader. Houze, chairman of Galeries Lafayette, is her son-in-law and has observer status on Carrefour’s board.

The Moulins bought a 6.1 percent stake in Carrefour in April 2014 through their Motier holding, raising it to 9.5 percent in January.

Other main Carrefour shareholders include Groupe Arnault, the holding of luxury tycoon and LVMH owner Bernard Arnault, with an 8.99 percent stake, and U.S. investment fund Colony Capital with 5.80 percent. Groupe Arnault has two seats on Carrefour’s 14-member board and Colony one.

Earlier this month Diniz announced he had increased his Carrefour stake to 5.07 percent.

“Diniz, it’s one more brick after the Moulins towards a reshuffling of Carrefour’s capital towards pure retailers and probably ahead of a future exit of Arnault-Colony from the capital”, said Yves Marin, senior manager at the Kurt Salmon consultancy.

Arnault and Colony invested in Carrefour in 2007 when Carrefour shares were around 50 euros. With a share price currently at around 30 euros they have not yet recouped the cost of their investments but analysts like Yves Marin think an exit could take place in the next 18-24 months.

In early April sources had told Reuters that Diniz was in talks to buy part or all of Arnault’s stake and that he wanted a Carrefour board seat. But Peninsula Participações, the investment vehicle managing Diniz’s fortune, had denied it.

A Paris-based spokesman for Peninsula Participaçõese, told Reuters on Wednesday: “The information I have is that Diniz has no plan to seek a seat at the June 11 AGM,”

Carrefour declined to comment.

A Carrefour spokeswoman said that Chairman and CEO Georges Plassat, who has been recovering from surgery since February, returned to his office on Monday. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by James Regan and Jon Boyle)

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