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Metro AG faces shake-up of shareholder structure

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Metro AG faces shake-up of shareholder structure
German retailer Metro AG sign is seen on the steps of their headquarters in Duesseldorf, Germany March 02, 2018. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen   -   Copyright  THILO SCHMUELGEN(Reuters)
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BERLIN (Reuters) – German retailer Metro AG <B4B.DE> faces a shake-up of its shareholder structure as Ceconomy <CECG.DE> announced it may join family-owned Haniel [FHANI.UL] in selling a stake in the German retailer to an investor group led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

Ceconomy said on Monday it was in talks to sell most of its 10 percent stake in Metro to investor group EP Investment, represented by Kretinsky.

Shares in Metro rose 5.1 percent to the top of Germany’s mid-cap index <.MDAXI> in early Frankfurt trade, while Ceconomy was up 3 percent.

Investment group Haniel [FHANI.UL] had said on Friday that it had agreed to sell a 7.3 percent stake in Metro to an investment vehicle of Kretinsky and Slovak investor Patrik Tkac for an undisclosed sum.

Under the terms of the deal, they can acquire Haniel’s remaining 15.2 percent stake under a call option.

Haniel is Metro’s largest shareholder with 22.5 percent, which is worth 977 million euros ($1.12 billion) at Friday’s closing price. Ceconomy owns around 10 percent.

($1 = 0.8744 euros)

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan, editing by Louise Heavens)

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