MILAN, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The family holding controlling Italian supermarket chain Esselunga said on Wednesday it would not proceed for now with a sale of the group after the death of its owner last week.
Ninety-year old Bernardo Caprotti, who founded Esselunga in 1957, had in recent months started talks with at least four private equity funds - including Blackstone, BC Partners and CVC Capital Partners - over a possible sale for up to 6 billion euros ($6.72 billion).
In a statement, Supermarkets Italiani said its board had decided not to "proceed, as things stand, with operations related to its unit Esselunga".
Caprotti, who died on Friday, had been exploring a sale partly because he did not want to leave Esselunga to his squabbling children, according to sources close to the matter. ($1 = 0.8932 euros) (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Agnieszka Flak)