French retailer Casino said in a statement it had launched a process to sell its renewable energy unit GreenYellow with a view to a potential transaction by the end of the year, sending its shares up 3.6%.
On Friday, French financial daily Les Echos reported that French energy giant TotalEnergies and power company Engie were eyeing the acquisition of GreenYellow, valued at around €1.5 billion ($1.56 billion).
Casino, which said its statement was in response to market rumours reported by the press, said no binding offer had been received by Casino to date, and no final decision had yet been made on this project.
At 08:25 GMT, Casino shares were up 3.9% at €18.76, outperforming Paris' stock market where the CAC 40 is down 0.2%
Les Echos reported last week that Casino, which owns 76% of GreenYellow, had appointed Rothschild and four other banks for the sale of the company.
GreenYellow, which produces low-cost electricity and helps lower companies' power consumption, said in February it had raised about €200 million to support future growth.
Casino, which last month reported that group sales had returned to growth in the first quarter, has also embarked on selling off non-core assets to cut its debt in recent years.
Same-store sales across its network were up 3.2% during the quarter, an improvement on the 0.4% decline it reported in the final quarter of last year.
Recently, the company named Guillaume Seneclauze as the new chief executive of its Monoprix and Naturalia business arms, replacing Jean-Paul Mochet, who is leaving the group.