UPDATE 1-Coin's main shareholder sees buyer in Q1 2011

Wed Nov 17, 2010 2:31pm EST

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MILAN, Nov 17 (Reuters) - The majority shareholder in Gruppo Coin GCN.MI has launched the formal process to sell its stake in the Italian retailer and expects to choose a buyer by the end of the first quarter, it said on Wednesday.

Financiere Tintoretto SA, majority-owned by private equity firm PAI Partners, has appointed Italian investment bank Mediobanca SpA (MDBI.MI) and UBS Italia SIM SpA (UBSN.VX) to advise on the sale of its 69 percent in Coin.

"The selection of a purchaser is currently expected to occur within the first quarter of 2011," it said.

In September PAI Partners was aiming to sell the stake in Coin by the year-end, a source close to the operation had said. [ID:nLDE68L0JM]

Private equity buyers across Europe have been cited as possible buyers of the stake in Coin, which has a 1 billion euro market capitalisation.

In a separate statement, Coin said it will make information available to potential buyers of the stake.

Coin, Italy's biggest clothes retailer after its purchase of Upim in January, sees earnings before interest tax, depreciation and amortisation of 200 million euros in the year to Jan. 31, 2011, up 34 percent, it said.

Its 3-year plan for 2011-2013, approved by the board on Wednesday, is based on modest sales growth as it completes the Upim integration, it said.

Coin shares closed up 3.1 percent at 7.29 euros ahead of the statements. Milan's all share index .FTITLMS rose 0.45 percent. (Writing by Nigel Tutt; Editing by Richard Chang)

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