September 16, 2019 / 10:37 AM / a month ago

Germany's Metro says talks on Real chain sale taking longer

DUESSELDORF, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Talks to sell Metro’s loss-making Real hypermarket chain to real estate investor Redos could take longer than expected after other parties showed interest in the properties, the German wholesaler said.

A Metro spokesman said talks with Redos, which have been ongoing since May, had made progress but other parties had shown interest in several Real stores so the process could take longer than planned to give them a chance. He did not give a timeline.

Sources close to the process said the aim was to submit sale plans to the German competition authorities for examination in September so the purchase could be completed in October.

Metro originally agreed to complete talks with Redos by the end of July but then extended that deadline to September.

Redos aims to buy Real as a going concern but wants to sell some stores to competitors, with German chains, such as Edeka, Rewe and Kaufland, seen as possible buyers.

German trade journal Lebensmittel Zeitung first reported the latest timetable for the deal.

Once a sprawling retail conglomerate, Metro has in recent years been restructuring to focus on its core cash-and-carry business, selling off the Kaufhof department stores and then splitting from consumer electronics group Ceconomy.

The investment vehicle of Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky, who failed last month in a bid to buy Metro for 5.8 billion euros ($6.4 billion), has criticised Metro’s plan to sell Real to Redos, saying the price was too low.

A consortium consisting of property investor X+Bricks and SCP Group has also made an offer for Real.

$1 = 0.9043 euros Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Edmund Blair

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