Metro says won't sell Kaufhof 'below value'

By Reuters

Jun 14, 2015 11:17 AM EDT

German retailer Metro AG (MEOG.DE) will not compromise on price for a sale of its department store chain Kaufhof and other factors such as solid financing will also be important in the decision, Finance Chief Mark Frese was quoted as saying.

Frese told finance daily Boersen-Zeitung in its Saturday edition that shareholders should not expect a special dividend payout in the wake of the sale.

"We're looking for a good price, solid financing and - very importantly - for a sustainable concept," he told the paper in an interview. "Kaufhof has had fantastic development. A sale below its value can be ruled out."

Metro is focusing on a price range of up to 3 billion euros ($3.38 billion), the paper said, adding that Metro had received offers between 2.7 billion euros and 2.9 billion euros.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Canadian retailer Hudson's Bay Co (HBC.TO) was in the lead in a bidding battle for Kaufhof, with a decision possible next week. Metro has long been keen to sell Kaufhof to focus on its core cash-and-carry and consumer electronics businesses.

Sources had previously told Reuters that Hudson's Bay had made a non-binding offer for Kaufhof with a value similar to a separate bid by Austrian investor Rene Benko, who offered 2.9 billion euros.

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