* Metro hoped to raise 1 bln euros with IPO
* Planned to use proceeds to cut debt, invest in Russia
* Ukraine crisis hits Russian markets, Lenta listing
* Metro shares up over 3 pct
FRANKFURT, March 18 German retailer Metro AG
has put on ice a plan for a stock market listing of a
stake in its Russian wholesale business because of market
turmoil over the crisis in Ukraine.
The company was hoping to raise at least 1 billion euros
($1.4 billion) by selling a quarter of its Russian
cash-and-carry operation in a London flotation organised by
Goldman Sachs and Sberbank.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, Reuters reported
earlier this month that the listing was unlikely to go ahead
after Russia's attempt to annex the Crimea, which has sent the
value of Russian assets tumbling and hit sentiment on world
Metro continues to pursue its plans for a flotation -
originally set for April - but does not see market conditions as
currently appropriate "in light of the recent political
developments", a spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.
Shares in Metro, which had fallen sharply on the Ukraine
crisis, were up 3.4 percent at 1536 GMT, making them the biggest
gainers among European retail stocks.
Some shareholders had been critical of plans for the initial
public offering (IPO), saying Metro should hold on to its most
Until recently, investors had been keen buyers of
consumer-oriented businesses in Russia, but the turmoil in
Ukraine overshadowed last month's stock market debut of Russian
hypermarket chain Lenta.
Metro had planned to use the proceeds from the IPO to expand
its Russian cash-and-carry business, the country's
fourth-biggest retailer behind X5, Magnit and
French chain Auchan.
Metro operates 72 stores in Russia and achieved sales of 183
billion roubles ($5 billion) in 2013.
Europe's fourth-biggest retailer, which is restructuring a
sprawling empire to focus on cash-and-carry and consumer
electronics, also planned to use some of the IPO proceeds to
reduce debt, which stood at 2.4 billion euros on Dec. 31.