October 4, 2018 / 2:18 PM / 2 years ago

French retailer Casino denies hiring advisor to sell Brazil's GPA

SAO PAULO, Oct 4 (Reuters) - French retailer Casino on Thursday denied for the second time this week a press report that it had hired a financial advisor to sell its Brazilian supermarket unit GPA.

Newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Thursday that Casino has hired financial advisory group Rothschild & Co SCA to explore asset sales for the purpose of debt reduction.

The mandate specifically excluded the possibility of selling French operations but did not rule out divesting GPA, according to the report. The article also says that at least one Brazilian investor has been contacted by Rothschild.

A similar report in O Globo newspaper earlier this week that Rothschild had been mandated to look at the sale of both Casino's Brazilian and Colombian operations was also denied by the company.

Rothschild did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

The French bank was hired in 2016 to help GPA sell its electronics retailer Via Varejo SA, sources familiar with the talks have said, but those efforts have so far been unsuccessful. In morning trading, shares in Via Varejo were down 5 percent, among the biggest decliners on the Sao Paulo stock exchange index. (Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by David Gregorio)

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