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Wal-Mart, Carrefour on shortlist to buy Lenta: paper

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Wal-Mart WMT.N, Carrefour CARR.PA, Kesko KESBV.HE and Agrokor Group are on a shortlist to buy Russian retail chain Lenta, Vedomosti daily reported on Wednesday, citing two minority shareholders in the chain.

They have one month to inspect the company’s books and make their final offers.

Vedomosti said the contenders valued the chain at around $2 billion, including $500 million in debt.

Sources have said shareholders holding around 89 percent of the company will probably sell. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development holds an additional 11 percent.

An EBRD spokesman was quoted as saying it would decide whether to sell its stake once the buyer and price were determined.

Neither of the global retail giants Wal-Mart and Carrefour have retail operations in Russia, though both have representative offices.

Lenta and potential contenders were not immediately available for comments.

Of the four contenders, only Finland’s Kesko has an existing operation in Russia. It bought a St Petersburg do-it-yourself store chain in 2004.

Germany's Metro MEOG.DE and investment fund TPG had also been seen as possible buyers.

Writing by Melissa Akin, editing by Will Waterman

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