Casino is more than doubling its stake in the French supermarkets group Monoprix, sharing control of the business with Galeries Lafayette. Casino, which already owns 21% of Monoprix, launched a cash and shares offer this week that values the company at FFr13.9bn. And Galeries Lafayette, which owns 62% of Monoprix, has pledged to sell 21.9% of its shareholding to Casino as part of their strategic alliance. Galeries Lafayette will take a mixture of cash and shares and in the process will become Casino's third largest shareholder with a 3% stake. Analysts say the alliance was prompted by last year's merger between Carrefour and Promodès ­ still pending approval ­ to create Europe's largest retailing group, second only in the world to Wal-Mart. Casino and Galeries Lafayette also plan to merge their internet businesses. Monoprix chief executive Philippe Houzé is expected to take a seat on the Casino board. {{NEWS }}