June 27, 2011 / 8:58 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Metro in informal talks on Real, Kaufhof options

* Spokesman says no concrete negotiations

* Sources say books not yet open on Real

* Shares down 0.3 percent

(Adds comment, background, shares)

FRANKFURT, June 27 (Reuters) - German retailer Metro AG is holding informal talks with outside investors over its Real chain of hypermarkets and Kaufhof department stores, it said on Monday.

Financial daily Handelsblatt newspaper had earlier reported that the group, which also runs cash & carries and consumer electronics stores, was mulling a stock market listing for Kaufhof and was in talks to sell Real.

Sources close to the company told Reuters there was no due diligence going on at Real and no banks had been mandated for a possible IPO of Kaufhof.

A spokesman added that improved trading meant the company had many options for the two divisions.

The sources said that while investors had previously only been interested in Real’s international business, improved trading in its home market meant there was now interest in the division as a whole.

Metro has long been weighing up options for Real and Kaufhof, which Chief Executive Eckhard Cordes does not view as core divisions.

However, analysts said any deals for either of the two chains were unlikely in the short-term.

“Kaufhof is lacking an international growth story to generate interest from the side of international investors,” Herbert Sturm at DZ Bank said.

Shares in Metro, which have lost almost a quarter of their value this year as it battles with weak European markets, were flat at 41.33 euros. The blue-chip Dax index was down 0.3 percent.

(Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; writing by Victoria Bryan; editing by Jane Merriman)

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