(Repeats to add reporter's name)
PARIS, March 24 Rothschild & Co will study
strategic options, including a possible flotation or sale, for
French frozen food retailer Picard after winning the mandate
from its owners, sources close to the matter told Reuters.
Picard was bought in 2010 by Lion Capital, which later sold
a 49 percent stake to Swiss frozen baked goods maker Aryzta
. It has about 920 shops across France with annual sales
of 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 bln).
"A mandate was given to Rothschild," said one source.
A second source confirmed the information and said the bank
would now assess the various options available for the chain.
"There is nothing concrete at this stage. Everything is
possible. An IPO (initial public offering) is not excluded," the
source said, adding that a sale was also an option.
Aryzta has said it plans to evaluate alternatives for its 49
percent stake in Picard, bought less than two years ago, saying
any proceeds would go to strengthening its balance sheet.
Neither Rothschild, Lion Capital or Arytza were immediately
available for comment.
(Reporting by Mathieu Protard and Julien Ponthus; writing by
John Irish; editing by Susan Fenton)