May 21, 2019 / 10:34 AM / a month ago

Metro deal for Real undervalues the hypermarkets chain: shareholder

FILE PHOTO: German retailer Metro AG sign is seen on the steps of their headquarters in Duesseldorf, Germany March 02, 2018. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - One of Metro’s key shareholders has criticized a planned sale of the retailer’s hypermarkets chain Real as undervaluing the business, a person close to the matter said.

Czech investor EPH, led by Daniel Kretinsky, views the deal Metro is expected to sign with Germany’s Redos group as unfavorable, the source said.

Real’s retail properties as well as its operating business were being offered too cheaply, the source added.

Metro and Redos earlier this month agreed a framework under which Real would be sold at a valuation of roughly 1 billion euros, with Metro initially retaining a 24.9 percent stake in the operating business and a ‘put’ option to sell that holding which could be exercised after three years.

The liabilities of the struggling chain will be assumed by the new owner, resulting in a preliminary cash inflow of around 500 million euros to Metro.

A spokesman for EPH declined to comment.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Kathrin Jones and Thomas Seythal

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