French Galeries Lafayette to make counter bid for Printemps

PARIS Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:03pm EST

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PARIS Feb 21 (Reuters) - French luxury retail group Galeries Lafayette plans to make a counter offer for rival department store group Le Printemps, its CEO told French daily Le Figaro.

Galeries Lafayette chief executive Philippe Houze told Le Figaro he hopes Qatari investors will link up with Galleries Lafayette and drop their support for Italian businessman Maurizio Borletti.

Printemps is 70 percent owned by Deutsche Bank real estate investment unit RREEF and 30 percent by the Borletti Group, headed by Borletti.

A source close to the talks told Reuters on Wednesday RREEF and the Borletti Group were in talks to sell Le Printemps to Qatari investors for up to 2 billion euros.($2.67 billion)

"Borletti's project is simply to get Qatar to finance the acquisition since he does not have the funds himself," Houze was quoted as saying by Le Figaro.

The paper said Houze will propose a deal under which Qatar buys Printemps's real estate assets for one billion euros while Galeries Lafayette buys its operations for 800 million euros. (Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Gary Hill)

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