Carrefour Sells the House

The world's biggest retailer after Wal-Mart is finally tapping the property market to bring up some cash for its shareholders. On Thursday France's Carrefour announced it would sell a chunk of its enormous real estate portfolio through an initial public offering next year and would also sell other assets to fund a huge share buyback.

Shares in Carrefour were up 33 euro cents (45 cents), or 0.6%, at 52.47 euros ($71.42) in Thursday afternoon trading in Paris.

Carrefour said its real estate unit, Carrefour Property, made up of 280 hypermarkets and 540 supermarkets, was worth between 20 billion euros ($27.2 billion) and 24 billion euros ($32.6 billion). The company would keep hold of 80% of the unit but would sell the other 20% as shares for around 3 billion euros ($4.1 billion) between 2007 and 2008.

More at Forbes.

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