(Bloomberg) -- Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA raised about 2.68 billion reais ($507 million) by unloading part of the shares it holds in Brazilian subsidiary Sendas Distribuidora SA as it seeks to reduce debt. 

The French grocer sold 140.8 million shares of Assai, as the Brazilian wholesaler is known, at 19 reais apiece in a public equity offering, according to a filing, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. That represents a discount of about 2.1% from Tuesday’s close. 

An additional allotment of 49.5 million shares wasn’t sold. Shares of the French retailer, which is reducing its Assai stake to 30.5% from 41%, plunged to an all-time low last month amid concerns over its debt load. The stock reversed gains after rising as much as 2% in Paris Wednesday.  

Banks running the deal were Banco Itau BBA SA, Banco BTG Pactual SA, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Banco Bradesco BBI SA, Banco Safra SA and Banco Santander Brasil SA. 

Casino Sinks to Record as S&P Cuts Rating, Kindling Debt Worries

While some Assai investors fear that additional stake sales might be on the way, analysts from Citigroup Inc. to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. see room for the firm to improve its governance perception. Casino is currently responsible for appointing five out of Assai’s nine board seats. 

“Assai’s management was clear that one could expect a higher proportion of independent board members in the next term,” Goldman analysts led by Irma Sgarz wrote in a note earlier this week, reaffirming a buy rating for the stock.

--With assistance from Alexandra Muller.

(Updates with confirmation, adds current stake and stock move.)

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