Metro Said to Abandon Talks to Buy Oetker's Fine Foods Supplier

  • Companies couldn't agree on price for FrischeParadies business
  • Metro is seeking acquisitions after buying Classic Fine Foods

Metro AG, Germany’s largest retailer, abandoned talks to acquire the country’s biggest specialty market and supplier of fine foods from Dr. August Oetker KG, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Metro and Oetker failed to agree on a price for FrischeParadies, German for fresh paradise, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations were confidential. Oetker, a closely held German company with interests ranging from frozen pizza to brewing and shipping, was seeking about 80 million euros ($89 million), the person said.

Metro said in August it’s hunting for further targets after agreeing to buy Classic Fine Foods Group, a Singapore-based supplier of gourmet products, for as much as $328 million. Chief Executive Officer Olaf Koch said in an interview earlier this month that the sale of its 136-year-old Kaufhof chain to Canada’s Hudson’s Bay Co. raised cash that can be used for future investments to fill holes in its portfolio. 

Oetker has been adding brands while trimming others. In March, it agreed to buy confectionery business Coppenrath & Wiese, which makes frozen cakes and pastries. The company, which has more than 10 billion euros in annual sales, was founded in 1891 by pharmacist August Oetker after he developed baking powder.

Representatives for Metro and Oetker couldn’t be immediately reached for comment outside regular business hours.

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