(Bloomberg) -- Carrefour SA is in advanced talks to sell a controlling stake in its Taiwanese operations to its local minority partner Uni-President Enterprises Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.

Uni-President has emerged as the likeliest buyer for the French grocer’s 60% of the business, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. 

The Taiwanese food conglomerate, which has the right of first refusal for Carrefour’s stake, and the European firm are discussing details of a potential transaction including financing and antitrust, the people said. A deal could be reached as soon as in the next few weeks, they said.

Talks are ongoing, no final decision has been made and other bidders remain interested in the assets, the people said. Representatives for Carrefour and Uni-President declined to comment.

“We are handling this according to the script,” said Uni-President Chairman Lo Chih-Hsien when asked about a potential deal for the stake during an investor briefing on March 11. “When timing is right, everyone will know,” Lo added.

Carrefour has been exploring a sale of its Taiwan unit in a potential deal that has drawn interest from firms including Carlyle Group Inc., CVC Capital Partners and Taiwanese conglomerate Far Eastern Group, Bloomberg News reported in October. The unit could fetch an enterprise value of at least $1.9 billion, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

Carrefour set up its first outlet in Taiwan in 1989, two years after establishing a joint venture with Uni-President, according to its website. The company has since expanded to more than 320 outlets. Uni-President and its affiliates currently own about a 40% stake in Carrefour’s Taiwan unit. 

From its origins as a flour mill in Tainan City, Taiwan, Uni-President has expanded to become one of the largest food conglomerates in Asia, with businesses spanning from dairy and beverages to instant food, baking and logistics, according to its website. 

Carrefour, which has been the subject of takeover activity in recent years, has been reviewing its global assets. In 2019, it agreed to sell an 80% stake in its China unit for $698 million in cash to local retailer Suning.com Co.

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