Carrefour has decided to end its interest in a possible tie-up with Auchan, after the two French retailers held exploratory talks in recent months, newspaper Le Figaro reported at the weekend.
The decision was taken by Carrefour's strategic committee on Thursday on the recommendation of chief executive Alexandre Bompard who considered a potential deal with Auchan as too complex, Le Figaro said.
Carrefour and Auchan could not be immediately reached for comment.
Le Monde, another French daily, had reported at the end of September that Bompard was examining options for sector consolidation and his group had held talks with the Mulliez family that controls Auchan.
Carrefour said in June it had started considering possible consolidation, divestitures or tie-ups of its foreign subsidiaries, but had not made a decision to sell any assets.
During the summer, the retailer reported a 11.2% increase in operating profit for the first six months of the year, boosted by a 4.7% increase in sales in France in the second quarter.
"Our organic growth is strong, while the value-creating acquisitions in recent periods are rapidly integrated," Bompard said at the time. "Finally, our new cost savings plan is quickly showing its first effects. While the sanitary and macroeconomic context remains uncertain, the Group is moving forward with great serenity towards achieving its objectives, both for full-year 2021, which will be another record year in terms of cash generation, and for the medium term."
In January, Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard dropped its €16.2 billion bid for Carrefour after the French government opposed the deal, citing food security concerns.