Boardroom moves to counter rise of Blue Capital
The family that owns the largest stake in the French retailer Carrefour has rebuffed mounting speculation that it is considering selling its 13 per cent stake as a result of a boardroom tussle.

The denial from a source close to the Halley family came as the board of the world's second largest retailer was due to meet this afternoon to discuss whether to award two of its seats to a joint venture called Blue Capital, which has recently bought 9.1 per cent of the business.

Sources have suggested that the board is likely to grant the request from Blue Capital, which is backed by France's richest man Bernard Arnault and private equity house Colony Capital.

The Halley family holds two seats on the board and has requested a third to ensure that they can retain their leading position in the business.

The Financial Times reported today that the Halleys appointed HSBC and Lehman Brothers to advise on how best to respond to the rise of Blue Capital.

A spokesman for the family was unavailable to comment on this, but a source close to the family told Reuters that 'the family has no desire to sell its stake in Carrefour and has given no instructions of this kind'.

It is understood that the arrival of Blue Capital has put pressure on Carrefour to unlock some of the money in its property portfolio, which is estimated at between E15 billion and E20 billion (£10.18 billion and£13.58 billion).