Retail in Asia

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Auchan mulls Asia exit with Taiwan business sale

French grocery chain Auchan Retail is set to exit its sole Asian market, as the supermarkets looks to divest its stake in Taiwan’s RT Mart.

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According to Bloomberg, Auchan is seeking US$300 million to US$400 million for the stake stake, said people familiar with the matter. Auchan is working with an adviser to find a buyer for its 65% stake in the RT Mart retail locations, with sale talks kicking off last week, sources said.

Plans for the sale are at an early stage and Auchan could decide to keep the stake, they added. Auchan declined to comment. If the sale of the RT Mart stake goes ahead, Auchan will relinquish its business presence in Asia, after the French retailer sold its stake in China’s Sun Art in October to Alibaba Holdings, for a deal worth US$3.6 billion.

Auchan owns 20 hypermarkets and two convenience stores in Taiwan. Auchan opened its first Taiwan store in 1997 and has 5,500 employees in its Auchan Retail Taiwan unit, which runs the RT-Mart-branded stores.

Founded in 1996 by Yin Yanliang, RT Mart is headquartered in the Neihu District, in Taipei.

Auchan is a French multinational retail group headquartered in Croix, France. It was founded in 1961 by Gérard Mulliez and is majority-owned by the Mulliez family.

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The company boasts 1,935 points-of-sale and is present in 13 countries globally, mostly in Europe, and in Senegal, according to its website.