French retailing giant Carrefour exits Greece just before a crucial election in that debt-ridden country over fears that the economy will continue to deteriorate.

Carrefour sold its 50 percent stake in its Greek joint venture to former partner, the Marinopoulos Group.

The French company will incur a charge of about €220 million ($278 million) on the transaction.

Carrefour-Marinopoulos, which was formed in 1999, was the largest retail chain in Greece with more than 300 stores.