《经济学人》:家乐福,摇摇欲坠
日期:2011-07-26 11:25

(单词翻译:单击)

Carrefour

Off its trolley

Europe’s biggest retailer looks even shakier as its Brazilian deal falls apart

Jul 14th 2011 | PARIS | from the print edition

Europe’s biggest retailer looks even shakier as its Brazilian deal falls apart
当巴西交易落空时,欧洲的连锁巨人显得更加不堪一击

SHAREHOLDERS of Carrefour, a French retailer, must feel as bewildered as shoppers lost in one of its giant stores. In the past two years the company has suggested several new strategies to lift its sagging share price, such as selling emerging-market businesses or spinning off its property, only to abandon them. Profit warnings have come thick and fast.
法国零售商家乐福的股东们,目前必定和那些在他们的大型超市中迷失方向的顾客一样感到迷茫。在过去的两年中,家乐福尝试过多种新策略,试图提升不断下滑的股票价格,例如出售新兴市场业务或剥离部分资产,以求摆脱多余的业务。不过公司的盈利警告依然来得严重而迅速。

The latest surprise was a plan to merge Carrefour’s Brazilian business with Companhia Brasileira de Distribuição (CBD), a local competitor. This week the deal evaporated after a furious protest from Casino, a rival French retailer which already holds a stake in CBD.
最近的令人震惊消息是家乐福计划将公司位于巴西的业务与当地的一个竞争者巴西百货(Companhia Brasileira de Distribuição (CBD))进行合并。由于巴西百货股份的持有者,家乐福的法国竞争者Casino的强烈反对,该笔交易于本周宣告失败。

More surprises may be in store. Carrefour has two powerful shareholders: Bernard Arnault, the boss of LVMH, a luxury-goods group, and Colony Capital, a property-investment firm. The two jointly own 14% of Carrefour’s shares and 20% of its voting rights, mostly through a vehicle called Blue Capital. They are desperate to rescue their investment, made in 2007 when Carrefour’s share price was more than twice as high as it is today.
更多令人震惊的消息来自于公司内部。家乐福有两大股东:奢侈品集团LVMH的老板伯纳德•阿尔诺(Bernard Arnault)和房地产投资公司柯罗尼资产集团(Colony Capital)。二者共持有家乐福14%的股份,并控制该公司14%的投票权,这两大股东主要通过蓝色资本(Blue Capital)操持对家乐福的股权。目前他们迫切希望挽回2007年做出的投资,当年家乐福的股票价格是现在的两倍多。

Blue Capital’s original plan, drawing on Colony’s expertise, was to make a one-off profit by having Carrefour sell all or part of its property portfolio. The retailer would then wrap up the cash in plastic bags and hand it to shareholders with a smile.
根据柯罗尼资产集团的专业意见,蓝色资本原本计划让家乐福出售全部或部分的资产组合,以实现一次性的利润。他们期望家乐福言听计从地将所得利润乖乖地交给各个股东。

But some investors have argued that forcing Carrefour to pay rent would weaken it. Carrefour proposed a partial sale of its property in March, along with the sale of Dia, a successful Spanish hard-discount chain. Minority shareholders forced Carrefour to abandon the property sale in June, but Dia was sold this month.
但是另一些投资者认为硬要家乐福偿付租金只能损害公司利益。家乐福建议在3月出售部分资产,其中也包括一家盈利的西班牙超级折扣连锁店Dia。少数股东强制家乐福放弃六月出售资产的计划,但是Dia仍在该月售出。

Mr Arnault’s latest gambit, to merge with CBD’s Pão de Açúcar, an upmarket food chain in Brazil, was more in the long-term interest of Carrefour. The combined company would have been a retail powerhouse in a fast-growing market. But Casino, an archrival of Carrefour, owns 37% of CBD and is poised to take control next year.
阿尔诺最近的建议是希望家乐福兼并巴西百货旗下的高端食品连锁店Pão de Açúcar,这个举动将为家乐福带来长期利益。二者的联合将在巴西这个快速增长的市场上打造出一个强有力的零售巨人。不过家乐福的死敌Casino拥有巴西百货37%的股份,而且将在明年得到巴西百货的控制权。

Its opposition, together with an outcry against further concentration of the Brazilian retail market, scuppered the deal. The Brazilian Development Bank, which had planned to invest in the merged entity, withdrew its backing on July 12th. The same day Abilio Diniz, the boss of CBD, said he was suspending his offer to merge with Carrefour. “The Brazilian deal had attractive features, but it was absurd to imagine that Casino could be excluded from the discussions,” says Eric Knight of Knight Vinke, an investment manager which has stood up to Blue Capital.
Casino的反对,以及反对西班牙零售市场进一步整合的呼声使这笔交易无果而终。巴西开发银行此前虽然计划对两者的兼并提供投资,也在7月12日收回这项支持。巴西百货的老板阿比利奥•迪尼兹(Abilio Diniz)也表示,将推迟和家乐福合并的交易。此外,站在蓝色资本对立面的Knight Vinke 投资经理埃里克•奈特(Eric Knight)也表示:“这笔交易确实有很多有利的因素,但是如果将Casino排除在外,就不合情理了。”

Meanwhile, Carrefour’s problems in France show no sign of going away. This week it said operating profits for the first six months of the year would fall by 23%, mainly due to an abysmal performance in French hypermarkets (France accounts for 44% of the group’s sales). These huge, out-of-town stores are ailing as people opt for smaller, closer shops. Carrefour still shifts plenty of food, but it struggles to beat specialist electronics and clothing brands.
与此同时,家乐福在法国的问题并无缓解的迹象。家乐福本周宣布今年前6个月的营业利润下降23%,这主要是由于法国各大卖场的糟糕表现导致的(法国的销售额占集团销售额的44%)。这些大型的、位于郊外的市场普遍业绩不佳,因为人们目前更青睐小型的、就近的商场。家乐福虽然仍能售出大量的食物,但在与电子专卖店和品牌服装店的竞争中却举步维艰。

The firm also admitted to a big mistake on pricing. This year Carrefour passed on commodity-price rises to consumers several months before its rivals, such as Leclerc and Intermarché. Shoppers objected. Carrefour lost market share. The firm “now needs to deliver a knockout blow in pricing,” says Christopher Hogbin of Bernstein Research. As Carrefour is the world’s second-biggest retailer, it should have the clout to cut prices by more and for longer than any other supermarket chain in France. But that might displease Blue Capital, as short-term profits would suffer. Some of its rivals are privately-owned, and so feel less short-term pressure to perform.
公司承认在定价方面存在重大失误。家乐福今年比其他的竞争对手,如Leclerc 和Intermarché 提前几个月将商品价格的上涨转嫁给消费者,引起了顾客的不满。家乐福因此失去了部分市场份额。伯恩斯坦研究所的克里斯托夫•霍格宾认为,家乐福“目前需要在价格上采取更大的让步”。由于家乐福是世界第二大零售商,因此本有能力比法国其他零售企业更持久地提供更多的降价优惠。不过这种举措却会招致蓝色资本的不快,因为公司的短期利润将蒙受损失。家乐福的部分竞争者是私营企业,因此在短期利润表现方面承受的压力相对较小。

Carrefour’s remaining big project is an internal one, managed by its chief executive, Lars Olofsson. His plan, “Carrefour Planet”, is to spend

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重点单词
  • pressuren. 压力,压强,压迫 v. 施压
  • originaladj. 最初的,原始的,有独创性的,原版的 n. 原件
  • abysmaladj. 深不可测的,无底的,糟透了的
  • cloutn. 猛击,影响力 [英]破布 v. 猛击
  • votingn. 投票 动词vote的现在分词形式
  • gambitn. (下棋开局时)弃子,策略,开场白
  • plasticadj. 塑料的,可塑的,造型的,整形的,易受影响的 n
  • planetn. 行星
  • desperateadj. 绝望的,不顾一切的
  • mergev. 合并,融合,兼并