French supermarket group Auchan is set to quit Taiwan after 24 years in the market, completing its withdrawal from greater Asia.
Taiwan News has reported that local operator PX Mart will take over the RT-Mart hypermarket joint venture between Auchan and the Ruentex Group by mid next year. Auchan is the majority partner in the venture, with a 65-per-cent share.
The company was in May reported by Bloomberg to be in talks over the divestment of its Taiwanese business, said to be seeking somewhere between US$300-400 million.
According to Taiwan News, PX Mart said it planned to buy buildings, land, distribution rights and the RT-Mart brand. No price was revealed and Auchan has not commented on the report.
The RT-Mart brand was created by Taiwanese tycoon Samuel Yin’s Ruentex Group, which owns 20 hypermarkets and two convenience stores. PX Mart operates 1056 stores and plans to expand its network to more than 1100 next year.
The reported deal marks another step in an ongoing reshuffle within Taiwan’s supermarket industry. Last year, French rival Carrefour bought the Wellcome Taiwan business from Singapore-listed Dairy Farm International, including the Jasons Marketplace brand, giving it control of 224 supermarkets. There have since been whispers that Carrefour is considering selling its enlarged Taiwan business.
Auchan exited Vietnam in 2019 closing some stores and selling the remaining business to local operator Saigon Co-op. Last October it sold its stake in China’s Sun Art Retail Group to Alibaba Group in a transaction valued at $3.6 billion.