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Central Retail Said to Bid EU250 Million for Italy’s Rinascente

Central Retail Corp. Ltd., Thailand’s biggest shopping-mall operator, made a 250 million-euro ($370 million) bid for Italian department-store chain La Rinascente Srl, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The offer comprised 205 million euros plus 45 million euros for the retailer’s debt and was made ahead of a deadline that expired yesterday, according to one of the people.

La Rinascente, which owns 13 department stores across Italy, was put up for sale this year by investors including Investitori Associati, an Italian private-equity firm which holds a 46 percent stake. Deutsche Bank’s RREEF holds 30 percent of the retailer, Italian real-estate company Prelios SpA has 20 percent and Gruppo Borletti owns 4 percent.

Borletti said yesterday it wouldn’t submit a bid for La Rinascente by the deadline because it has the right of first refusal on the retailer as part of a shareholder agreement. UniCredit SpA, Italy’s largest lender, is advising on the sale.

Chairman Maurizio Borletti, who is also an investor in France’s Printemps, said in February that luxury companies offered to help fund an acquisition of La Rinascente after they heard of interest from Bangkok-based Central Retail.

A spokeswoman for Central Retail declined to comment. She declined to be identified because of company policy.

The offer was reporter earlier today in Il Sole 24 Ore.

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