PARIS (Reuters) – The Teract group, owned by the agricultural cooperative InVivo, and Casino announced on Thursday that they had decided to abandon their plan to combine distribution activities in France.

Casino and Teract had been in exclusive talks since March and the exclusivity period expired on Thursday.

“Teract and the Casino group have decided, by mutual agreement, not to pursue these discussions,” Casino said in a statement.

“The Casino Group and Teract nevertheless remain open to discussions on a potential operational partnership, which could relate to bakery, viennoiserie & pastry products and would also include the conclusion of a contract for the development of fruit and vegetable sectors with Teract”, Casino said.

The group received a competing offer at the end of April from Czech businessman Daniel Křetínský. The latter offered to take control of Casino via a capital increase of 1.1 billion euros.

Heavily indebted, and under pressure from rating agencies, Casino began official negotiations with its creditors at the end of May.

(Written by Blandine Hénault, edited by Tangi Salaün)

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