Casino Guichard (EU:CO)
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1 Year : From May 2012 to May 2013
--Appointments mark final part of transfer of control to Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA
--Transfer marks exit of Diniz family, which founded and built up GPA
(Adds confirmation from the company, details in the second, third and fourth paragraphs.)
By Luciana Magalhaes and Matthew Cowley
SAO PAULO--Shareholders of Brazilian retailing giant Grupo Pao de Acucar, or GPA, approved Friday the appointment of three new board members, marking the final part of the transfer of control to France's Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA (CO.FR).
As planned, Joao Paulo Falleiros dos Santos Diniz and Ana Maria Falleiros dos Santos Diniz D'Avila, two board members representing Brazilian billionaire businessman Abilio Diniz, stepped down, and three members representing Casino were appointed, the company said in a statement, confirming an earlier report by a person present at the meeting.
Casino named Eleazar de Carvalho Filho, Luiz Augusto de Castro Neves and Roberto Oliveira de Lima as its new representatives on the board of GPA, which is formally known as Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao SA (CBD, PCAR4.BR).
The new appointments were approved unanimously, the company said.
GPA will now have 15 board members--eight appointed by Casino, three appointed by Mr. Diniz and four who are independent. Mr. Diniz remains chairman of the board of directors, under terms of a sale contract signed between him and Casino in 2005.
The transfer ends a chapter in GPA's history with the exit of the Diniz family, which founded and built up the chain, as the controlling shareholders. It opens another chapter in which investors are keen to see whether Casino Chief Executive Jean-Charles Naouri and Mr. Diniz will be able to work together after having a falling out earlier this year.
According to the person present at the meeting, Mr. Diniz, addressing shareholders, said he would remain as chairman and he would continue to help the company grow and preserve its values.
The executive said he had never thought of breaking the contract signed with Casino, the person said.
Write to Luciana Magalhaes at firstname.lastname@example.org and Matthew Cowley at email@example.com.