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Metro China could be sold by German parent

Metro AG is considering exiting its Metro China retail business as part of a plan to focus on wholesaling activities worldwide.

The German grocery giant has already placed its struggling domestic big-box chain Real on the market and spun off its electronics retail division, since renamed Ceconomy. Now it is reportedly seeking buyers for its Chinese cash & carry business.

Quoting people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports options for the China business range from offloading a minority stake to finding a strategic partner or forming a joint venture. It may choose to retain the business.

The Metro China Cash & Carry business comprises 93 stores and achieved sales of 20.3 billion yuan (US$3 billion) last fiscal year.

Earlier this monthBloomberg reported that Chinese investment firm Fosun International was negotiating a US$500 million holding in Metro, that would see it take a 9 per cent holding.

Fosun International currently owns 10 per cent in accessories retailer Folli Follie, resort Club Med, Canada’s Cirque du Soleil and the Malaysian-founded Secret Recipe cafe chain.

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