Finance minister Bruno Le Maire strongly reaffirmed France's opposition to French retailer Carrefour possibly being taken over by Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard on Friday, sending Carrefour's shares down 4.5%.
"What's at stake is the food security of our country (...) food security is strategic for our country so that's why we don't sell a big French retailer," Le Maire told BFM TV.
"My answer is extremely clear: we are not in favour of the deal. The no is polite but it's a clear and final no," he said.
Earlier this week, Canadian convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc initiated exploratory discussions with Europe's biggest retailer, Carrefour SA, regarding a potential transaction.