RPT-China's Wumart in talks to buy most of CP Lotus retail stores-source

Tue Oct 15, 2013 3:33am EDT

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HONG KONG Oct 15 (Reuters) - Chinese superstore and mini-mart chain operator Wumart Stores Inc is in talks to buy most of the mainland retail stores operated by CP Lotus Corp, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

CP Lotus, a Hong Kong-listed company controlled by Thai billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont, had 57 retail stores in China, including 54 hypermarkets and two supermarkets, as of June 30.

The person was unaware of the deal value or the exact number of stores being by sold by CP Lotus. Wumart and CP Lotus are working on an all-stock deal, the person said, declining to be identified as the discussions were confidential.

Shares in Wumart and CP Lotus were suspended in Hong Kong on Tuesday pending an announcement. CP Lotus' market capitalization is $373 million, while Wumart's is $2.4 billion.

An external spokesman for Wumart declined to comment, while CP Lotus was not immediately available for comment.

Wumart operated 541 stores in China as of end-June, comprising 145 superstores and 396 mini-marts. (Reporting by Denny Thomas and Donny Kwok and; Editing by Ryan Woo)

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