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Metro Considers Sale of Saturn Electronics Outlets in France

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Metro AG, Germany’s biggest retailer, is considering the sale of its 34 Saturn consumer electronics stores in France, saying the economic situation in the country remains “challenging.”

The sale of some or all of the outlets is among “strategic options” being considered, the Dusseldorf, Germany-based company said today, adding that talks are being held with HTM Group. Saturn also may continue its French operations with a strategic partner, Metro said by e-mail.

Metro, Europe’s biggest retailer of consumer electronics with 852 stores in 16 countries, plans to open several stores in China starting next month. The French unit had sales of 583 million euros ($806 million) in 2009, about 3 percent of the total. The unit employed 1,806 people at the end of the year.

“The assessment will be focused on a solution that is in the best interest of the employees,” Metro said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Holger Elfes in Dusseldorf at helfes@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net.

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