Migros plays down Wal-Mart report

ISTANBUL Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:58pm EST

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish retailer Migros Ticaret AS (MGROS.IS) poured cold water on a report that Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) was in talks to buy an 80 percent stake, sending its shares lower after an initial spurt on Thursday.

Migros shares rose nearly 9 percent in early trade after the Financial Times said Wal-Mart was in talks to buy the stake from London-based private equity group BC Partners in a deal that would value it at more than $4 billion including debt.

"As a private equity company, BC Partners periodically assesses options for various of its investments, including Migros," Migros said in a statement.

"The talks underway are a regular part of (BC Partners') workflow," the statement said. It did not mention Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart declined to comment on the report.

Migros shares erased their initial gains and closed down 2.65 percent at 22 lira after the Migros statement.

(Reporting by Seltem Iyigun; Editing by Nick Tattersall and David Cowell)

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