BRASILIA- Brazilian antitrust watchdog CADE has initially recommended approval of Carrefour's  acquisition of Grupo BIG Brasil, but conditioned the deal to the divestment of some retail units.

The recommendation by the CADE superintendent's office still needs to be endorsed by the watchdog's court.

In a statement on Tuesday, CADE said the recommended divestment involves self-service retail units. CADE has 240 days, extendable for another 90 days, to rule on the deal.

Carrefour Brasil, the local unit of the French retail giant, announced last March the acquisition of Grupo BIG for roughly 7.5 billion reais ($1.36 billion) from Walmart and investment firm Advent International. 

Carrefour already has a major presence in Brazil, where its subsidiary Carrefour Brasil is the country's biggest retailer by most measures and runs the Atacad?o supermarket stores.

The acquisition will make it the uncontested market leader in the country, since BIG is considered Brazil's third-biggest food retailer, behind rival Grupo Pao de Açucar.


($1 = 5.5115 reais)

(Reporting by Marcela Ayres, Editing by Louise Heavens) ((; +55 11 5047-2444;))