DUESSELDORF, Germany Legal challenges have been launched against the plans of German retailer Metro (MEOG.DE) to split into two companies, a source with knowledge of the proceedings told Reuters, potentially delaying the move.
A Metro spokesman declined to comment.
Shareholders in Metro overwhelmingly voted last month to back a plan to split off the group's wholesale and hypermarket food business from Media-Saturn, Europe's biggest consumer electronics group, by the middle of the year.
Erich Kellerhals, the founder of Media-Saturn, suggested last month he was considering a legal challenge to the split. A spokesman for his holding company declined to comment on Tuesday on whether he has now gone ahead.
Kellerhals still owns a stake of close to 22 percent in Media-Saturn and has regularly clashed with Metro over its management of the business.
Metro hopes the split will help the independent companies pursue more acquisitions and trigger a revaluation of the stock as Metro currently trades at a discount to other pure wholesale retailers such as Sysco (SYY.N) and Britain's Booker (BOK.L).
(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Sabine Wollrab and Christoph Steitz)