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Dubai: One of the leading retail conglomerates in the UAE has acquired the franchise owner of a popular French hypermarket brand that has nearly 30 outlets in the region.

The eponymous Majid Al Futtaim, which owns a number of shopping malls, communities, retail and leisure establishments in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, announced on Thursday the acquisition of Retail Arabia.

The new deal will see the Geant brand replaced by its French competitor, Carrefour and further strengthen Majid Al Futtaim's retail presence in the region.

The acquisition was agreed between the conglomerate and Retail Arabia’s parent company, BMA International. Majid Al Futtaim said that with the acquisition, all the bought Geant hypermarkets, supermarkets and convenience stores will be rebranded and carry the Carrefour name.

Retail Arabia is the franchise owner of 26 Geant stores spread across the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, as well as four Gulfmart supermarkets in Bahrain.

Only recently, Carrefour had replaced the Hyperpanda supermarket in Dubai Festival City.

According to a statement, the acquisition will also see Carrefour strengthen its position in the UAE, with its store count expected to increase from 67 to 80.

In Bahrain and Kuwait, the number of Carrefour stores will consequently increase to 11 and eight, respectively. With the acquisition, all the employees under Retail Arabia will be retained by Majid Al Futtaim.

Alain Bejjani

"This acquisition is a major milestone for Majid Al Futtaim, one which further cements Carrefour’s position as the largest and most successful grocery retailer in the region and beyond,” Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer at Majid Al Futtaim, said.

“We are open to further prospects through both organic growth and opportunistic acquisitions, and will pursue these in line with our disciplined strategic and financial approach. Our ambition is to expand our physical as well as our digital presence, and reinforce our omni-channel offering."