Carrefour to buy malls next to its hypermarkets

PARIS (AP) — French big box retailer Carrefour plans to buy dozens of shopping malls next to its hypermarket stores.

The retailer said Monday that it and eight investors would buy 127 malls in France, Italy and Spain from Paris-based Klepierre for 2 billion euros ($2.75 billion). Carrefour already owns 45 malls in France. All the shopping centers will be held by one new company.

Carrefour has been struggling for years, even before the European debt crisis decimated its biggest markets, and has seen a dizzying string of strategy changes. Georges Plassat took over as chief executive last year, pledging to cut costs and make the company a leader again in the all-in-one hypermarkets it has historically excelled at.

The deal needs regulatory approval but should close in March or April 2014.

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