Metro in talks to sell Real supermarkets

Metro in talks to sell Real supermarkets

Germany’s Metro is in talks to sell its Real supermarket stores outside its home market, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters yesterday, joining the ranks of retailers looking to slim down amid subdued consumer spending.

Outside Germany, Real is present in Poland, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.

Metro has long stated its wish to sell off Real and department store chain Kaufhof to focus on its cash & carry and consumer electronics stores, which it sees as having better long-term growth prospects as they expand in emerging markets.

The sources said Metro was talking to several parties and one said international bidders were involved, though cautioned negotiations were at an early stage and a deal was not imminent.

Commerzbank analyst Juergen Elfers said a sale would allow Metro to cut some of its debt, which stood at 8.2 billion euros ($10.3 billion) at the end of the first half.

He mentioned French retailer Auchan as a possible buyer. The company failed to comment.