Carrefour shares pop as merger talks intensify

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the Canadian owner of Circle K convenience stores, is exploring a takeover of French grocer Carrefour SA in a roughly $20 billion deal that would create a trans-Atlantic retail giant.

Couche-Tard’s initial proposal values the French company at about 20 euros per share, people with knowledge of the matter said. That would represent a roughly 29% premium to its Tuesday closing price.

Shares of Carrefour rose 14% in Paris on Wednesday, trading shy of 18 euros. Couche-Tard slipped 2.2% after a Bloomberg report on the talks, valuing the company at almost C$46 billion ($36 billion).

Couche-Tard confirmed Tuesday that it has started “exploratory discussions” on a friendly deal with Carrefour. There’s no certainty the talks will lead to a transaction, the Quebec-based company said. Both parties see room for negotiation on the final price, according to people familiar with the situation.

Couche-Tard’s focus has been convenience stores … Read More

Gasoline pushes U.S. consumer prices higher in December By Reuters

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer prices increased solidly in December amid a surge in the cost of gasoline, though underlying inflation remained tame as the economy battled a raging COVID-19 pandemic, which has weighed on the labor market and the services industry.

The Labor Department said on Wednesday its consumer price index increased 0.4% last month after gaining 0.2% in November. An 8.4% jump in gasoline prices accounted for more than 60% of the rise in the CPI. In the 12 months through December the CPI advanced 1.4% after increasing 1.2% in November.

Last month’s CPI readings were in line with economists expectations. The CPI rose 1.4% in 2020. That was the smallest yearly gain since 2015 and was a deceleration from 2.3% in 2019.

The CPI increased at a 1.7% average annual rate over the last 10 years.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the

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