Few things can kill a deal quicker than bipartisan opposition from voters who—in the year before a presidential election—agree on almost nothing else.

Canadian multinational convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard learned that the hard way in January 2021, when press rumors of Couche-Tard’s desire to acquire French grocery chain Carrefour prompted a swift response from the country’s finance minister: “My answer is extremely clear: We are not in favor of the deal. The no is polite but it’s a clear and final no.”

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