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Sale of Italy's supermarket chain Esselunga scrapped for now

MILAN Oct 5 The family holding controlling Italian supermarket chain Esselunga said on Wednesday it would not proceed for now with a sale of the group after the death of its owner last week.

Ninety-year old Bernardo Caprotti, who founded Esselunga in 1957, had in recent months started talks with at least four private equity funds - including Blackstone, BC Partners and CVC Capital Partners - over a possible sale for up to 6 billion euros ($6.72 billion).

In a statement, Supermarkets Italiani said its board had decided not to "proceed, as things stand, with operations related to its unit Esselunga".

Caprotti, who died on Friday, had been exploring a sale partly because he did not want to leave Esselunga to his squabbling children, according to sources close to the matter. ($1 = 0.8932 euros) (Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; editing by Agnieszka Flak)

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