UPDATE 1-Knight Vinke says not hired banks on Darty stake

Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:28am EDT

* Knight Vinke says did not hire Goldman Sachs or anyone else

* Knight Vinke considering Darty sale - Le Figaro

* Carrefour briefly considered buying Darty - Figaro

* Darty, Carrefour decline comment (adds details, background, shares)

By Dominique Vidalon

PARIS, April 22 (Reuters) - Activist shareholder Knight Vinke said on Monday it had not hired banks to handle a possible sale of its 25 percent stake in electrical goods retailer Darty Plc.

Knight Vinke, which has a seat on Darty's board, has been pushing the retailer to eliminate loss-making businesses and focus on operations in France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

French daily Le Figaro said that Darty, Europe's third largest electrical goods retailer behind market leader Media-Saturn and Dixons Retail, had been put up for sale and Goldman Sachs was handling the deal.

"Knight Vinke can confirm that it has not retained Goldman Sachs or anyone else with regard to its investment in Darty," a Knight Vinke spokeswoman in Paris told Reuters, declining to elaborate further.

Le Figaro also said that Carrefour, Europe's largest retailer, briefly considered buying Darty before dropping the idea.

Carrefour, in which Knight Vinke has a 1.5 percent stake, declined to comment on the report. Darty also declined comment

Shares in Darty were down 4.17 percent at 46.9 euros by 0826 GMT while Carrefour was off 0.2 percent at 21.02 euros. (Reporting by Dominique Vidalon in Paris and James Davey in London; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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