DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - German wholesaler Metro said it expected non-binding offers to be made soon for its loss-making Real hypermarkets chain, with a binding offer to come six to eight weeks later.
Metro Chief Executive Olaf Koch reiterated that Metro wants to sell Real as a whole, but said the process was difficult due to competition regulations.
Koch told journalists he expected a positive price for Real due to its real estate portfolio and ecommerce business, adding there was more than a handful of interested parties.
Industry bankers had predicted that Metro might have to effectively pay a buyer to take the chain off its hands. Rival German chains could be interested in parcels of stores, but private equity firms are seen as the most likely bidders.
Reporting by Matthias Inverardi, writing by Emma Thomasson, editing by Tassilo Hummel