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FB Roundup: Casino Group, Luxottica, and LVMH

Casino to sell Big C stake to Thai TCC Group; Luxottica shares dive following management concerns; and LVMH shares soar on strong sales

Casino to sell Big C stake to Thai TCC Group

French retailer Casino Group, owned by the Naouri and Guichard families, has agreed to sell its majority stake in Thai hypermarket operator Big C Supercentre for $3.4 billion.

The sale to Thailand’s TCC Group – controlled by Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and family – will allow Casino to pay down $6.7 billion of debt. The deal will be completed by the end of March.

Big C is Thailand's second-largest hypermarket operator after Tesco's Thai unit, and has a market capitalisation of 163.25 billion baht ($4.60 billion).

The sale of Big C fulfils Casino Group’s recent commitment to sell $4.5 billion in assets this year as it seeks to reduce its $6.7 billion of debt.

Last month, Casino reported fourth-quarter sales of $13.4 billion.

Luxottica shares dive following management concerns

Shares in family-owned eyewear group Luxottica fell sharply this week after losing its third chief executive in 18 months.

Leading shareholder Leonardo Del Vecchio, who also acts as Luxottica's chairman, will take on executive powers, tightening his grip on the company he founded in 1961.

He takes over from Adil Mehboob-Khan, who had joined the firm a little over a year ago following the exit of long-standing CEO Andrea Guerra and his short-lived successor, Enrico Cavatorta.

Luxottica, which has annual revenues of €7.3 billion $8.2 billion), owns brands such as Oakley, Ray-Ban, and Oliver Peoples. It also has more than 7,000 retail outlets operating under different banners including Sunglass Hut and OPSM.

LVMH shares soar on strong sales

Leading luxury family empire LVMH saw shares jump 6.8% this week after it posted record sales.  

According to a company statement, annual profit from recurring operations rose 16% last year to $7.2 billion, while total sales increased 6% to $38.8 billion.

Strong performance in the United States, Europe and Japan offset weakness in China, where LVMH has recently shuttered stores, the report said.

Today, luxury group Christian Dior is the main holding company of LVMH, owning 40.9% of its shares, and 59.01% of its voting rights. Bernard Arnault is the majority shareholder of Dior.

LVMH was formed through the merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy in 1987.

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