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Comercial Mexicana Said Near Sale of Restaurants to Gigante

Controladora Comercial Mexicana SAB is closing in on an agreement to sell the bulk of its restaurant business for about 1 billion pesos ($77 million), according to two people with knowledge of the transaction.

The retailer could reach a deal as early as this week to sell a majority of the company’s Restaurantes California and Beer Factory eateries to Grupo Gigante SAB, according to one of the people, both of whom asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The transaction will probably exclude some underperforming locations, according to the person.

The California restaurant chain has 61 eateries across Mexico while Comercial Mexicana has seven Beer Factory restaurants. Gigante operates Panda Express Chinese food restaurants and Toks restaurants in Mexico.

An outside press officer for Mexico City-based Comercial Mexicana didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment. Shares of company, known as Comerci, fell 0.1 percent to 50.52 pesos per share today in Mexico City trading.

In a statement today to the Mexican stock exchange, the company said that while it may grow through acquisitions or mergers and is considering strategic options, no deal has been completed.

Comercial Mexicana, whose holdings include the upscale City Market grocery stores in the capital’s metropolitan area, hired Rothschild earlier this year to find a buyer for the entire business, people said at the time.

Excelsior columnist Dario Celis wrote yesterday that Comercial Mexicana is in exclusive talks with a buyer for the restaurants and is close to reaching a deal.

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