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Metro Shares Rise After Retailer Confirms Talks on Kaufhof Sale

Metro AG, Germany’s biggest retailer, rose in Frankfurt trading after saying it’s in talks to sell its Kaufhof department-store chain to KarstadtQuelle AG’s former Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Urban.

The shares climbed as much as 2.9 percent to 36.49 euros and were at 36.02 euros as of 9:08 a.m. local time.

Metro confirmed the talks with Urban yesterday after Bild am Sonntag reported that he presented the Dusseldorf-based company with a bid for Kaufhof from a group of entrepreneurial families. The group wants to buy a 51 percent stake in the department-store chain and is willing to take full ownership if necessary, according to the German newspaper.

Two weeks ago, Metro said it was discussing the sale of Kaufhof with both Signa Holding GmbH, an Austrian real-estate company backed by Greek billionaire George Economou, and the owner of rival Karstadt Nicolas Berggruen. Berggruen’s offer was rejected last week, Handelsblatt reported today, citing unidentified people in Metro’s mergers and acquisitions team.

Kilian Roetzer, a spokesman for Metro, declined to comment on Handelsblatt’s report when contacted by Bloomberg News.

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