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Pao de Acucar’s Diniz Said to Discuss Sale of Stake in Wilkes

Abilio Diniz, chairman of Cia. Brasileira de Distribuicao Grupo Pao de Acucar, is in talks to sell his entire stake in Wilkes Participacoes SA, which controls the Brazilian retailer, to Casino Guichard Perrachon SA, a company official familiar with the matter said.

The talks, which began in September, may lead to a sale of Diniz’s stake before 2014, said the official, who requested anonymity because the matter hasn’t been made public.

The Brazilian billionaire, 75, announced yesterday he will exercise an option to sell 2.4 percent of his Wilkes shares to Casino for $10.5 million. Under an agreement signed with Casino, Diniz has a second option to sell his remaining Wilkes stake, equal to 47.6 percent, after 2014.

Casino became the sole controller of Pao de Acucar on June 22 when the presidency of Wilkes passed to Casino Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jean Charles Naouri. The transfer stems from an agreement signed between the French retailer and Diniz in 1999 and amended in 2005.

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