(Recasts with GPA statement)
SAO PAULO Nov 28 Brazilian retailer GPA SA
insisted on Monday that a sale of its controlling
stake in Via Varejo SA is its only strategic option,
disputing comments by a Via Varejo executive who said other
alternatives are available.
Earlier on Monday, Via Varejo's head of investor relations,
Alexandre Gonçalves, told investors at a briefing that GPA
viewed the stake sale as its best option, but that GPA had
alternatives if the deal fell through. He declined to elaborate.
GPA said in a statement to Reuters that management was
authorized to sell its Via Varejo stake in order to focus on its
food business, as stated in a Nov. 23 securities filing.
"Other options were ruled out," GPA said on Monday.
Last week, a Brazilian newspaper reported Chile's SACI
Falabella SA, South Africa's Steinhoff International
Holdings Ltd and Brazil's Lojas Americanas SA
are among the retailers interested in Via Varejo.
($1 = 3.3998 reais)
(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Matthew Lewis)