RPT-Germany's Praktiker likely to be broken up - source

Wed Sep 4, 2013 7:07am EDT

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FRANKFURT, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Praktiker, the insolvent German home improvement store chain, is likely to be broken up after attracting bids only for its Max Bahr business and some Praktiker branches, a source close to the negotiations told Reuters.

The group filed for insolvency in July, having struggled to recover from a short-lived attempt to go upmarket and row back on its popular "20 percent off everything" promotions.

The insolvency administrators decided to close 48 of the 163 Praktiker stores, but how many of the remaining outlets will become part of the Max Bahr chain and how many can be sold to competitors or other investors is still subject to negotiation, the source said.

Among the handful of bidders are Praktiker rivals from Germany and financial investors who specialise in restructuring companies, the source said, adding that the bidders will now be given access to Praktiker's financial data.

Any deals should be made by the end of September, the source said.

A spokesman for Praktiker declined to comment.

The administrators, who are working with Macquarie Group to find investors, were not immediately available for comment.

At 1100 GMT shares in Praktiker were down nearly 33 percent at 0.05 euros. ($1 = 0.7601 euros) (Reporting by Alexander Huebner, Sabine Wollrab and Peter Dinkloh; Writing by Marilyn Gerlach; Editing by Philipp Halstrick and David Goodman)