MAF's Carrefour hypermarkets to be pulled from Egypt and Syria
Majid Al Futtaim Holding of Dubai is the sole franchise holder of Carrefour, the hypermarket chain in the Middle East. It had announced it would not pursue investments in both Egypt and Syria until stability returns to the two countries. This was confirmed by a senior official last Saturday.
MAF was already in advanced discussions to purchase the largest supermarket chain in Egypt, Metro, from its owners the family owned Mansour Group. The Dubai based firm is the only Carrefour franchisee in North Africa and Central Asia.
According to MAF Senior Vice President for Retail International Development Younus al Mulla, "Egypt is still unstable, we are waiting for it to settle down but we are still in negotiations. As for Syria, any investor will hold back. It's not a good to move forward now with the revolution going on."
The company was also preparing to make a major investment in Syria before the 2011 uprising. One Carrefour store located in Aleppo had to be closed down as a result of the expanding violence.
Overall, MAF operates Carrefour hypermarkets in 38 countries, with 15 new countries being targetted for gradual entry into their local markets.