October 24, 2018 / 8:32 AM / 22 days ago

German wholesaler Metro starts search for partners in China business

DUESSELDORF, Germany, Oct 24 (Reuters) - German wholesaler Metro is talking to banks about finding a partner for its China business, a spokesman said on Wednesday, confirming a report by news agency Bloomberg.

Bloomberg had reported that Metro was working with banks Citi and JP Morgan on reviewing options for its China unit, including selling a minority stake or finding a strategic partner.

Metro runs 93 stores in China and reported like-for-like sales up 2.9 percent in Asia in the first nine months of its 2017/18 financial year.

Once a sprawling retail conglomerate, Metro has been restructuring in recent years to focus on its core cash-and-carry business, selling its Kaufhof department stores and then splitting from consumer electronics group Ceconomy .

Analysts have speculated that the revamp could go further since Czech investor Daniel Kretinsky took a stake in the company, which last month announced plans to sell its struggling Real hypermarket chain.

Reporting by Matthias Inverardi Writing by Emma Thomasson Editing by David Goodman

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