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CACF Wants to Regain Control of Alsolia

In keeping with their long-standing partnership, Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance and Décathlon jointly own the credit institution Alsolia, intended to manage the retail group's credit card offer. CACF recently explained they were meaning to regain full control of this Joint-Venture without, however, ending Décathlon card product.

Alsolia, subsidiary of Crédit Agricole focusing on financial services, proposes financing options and the Alsolia Décathlon credit card. This payment tool applies to the brand’s sports equipment. This JV is currently held by Crédit Agricole (20%) and reported a net banking income of roughly 4 million euros for 2017.

CACF explained they wanted to be in control of this co-owned company -providing the regulatory validations they filed for in August were granted. These groups would then only be linked by a commercial contract, specifying that this credit issuing activity would be entrusted to Crédit Agricole exclusively.

This move could help these groups increase their flexibility when it comes to managing their relationship, while ensuring that their multi-year partnership lasts.

Comments – Partnerships with the retail sector put to question?

For many years, Joint-Ventures have been considered a way for consumer lending companies to win new markets and secure their retail partners’ loyalty. And, Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance pursued this strategy, too, especially at an international level. In March, CACF joined hands with the Spanish bank Bankia to build a customer lending-dedicated Joint-Venture. A similar strategy has been implemented in Italy: CACF holds 61% of their subsidiary Agos (along with Banco Popolare), and holds shares in FCA Bank (alongside Fiat Chrysler).

Retail players now tend to focus more on their core business and withdraw their attention from these subsidiaries, as has been the case with Décathlon. It could also be an opportunity for CACF to add this credit issuing activity to their own balance sheet.