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Metro to Sell $350 Million Booker Stake in Value Creation Drive

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Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Metro AG, Germany’s biggest retailer, plans to sell a 212 million-pound ($350 million) stake in Booker Group Plc after the U.K. food wholesaler’s shares rose 70 percent in just over two years of ownership.

Metro’s entire holding of 156.6 million shares, or 9 percent of Booker’s stock, will be offered to investors in a so-called accelerated bookbuild managed by JPMorgan Chase & Co., the German company said today in a statement.

The stake formed part of the consideration for Metro’s Makro U.K. unit when it was acquired by Booker in May 2012. The sale is part of the German company’s plan to unlock value from its retail holdings, which last month saw it sell 19 Vietnamese stores to a Thai distributor for $876 million.

Metro said it will continue its strategic partnership with Wellingborough, England-based Booker.

Booker shares rose 0.5 percent to 135.3 pence at the close of trading in London today. The stock traded at 79.1 pence immediately before Metro gained the stake, though has declined 17 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Jarvis in London at pjarvis@bloomberg.net

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

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