Metro AG, Germany’s largest retailer, has confirmed talks with Wolfgang Urban, ex-CEO of KarstadtQuelle, who wants to buy department store chain Kaufhof for a group of families from Düsseldorf. According to Bild am Sonntag, the group wants to buy a majority of 51%, but is prepared to buy 100% of the shares if necessary.
Three parties interested
Urban started his career at Kaufhof, but moved on to lead KarstadtQuelle – another interested party in the Kaufhof chain. Business newspaper Handelsblatt however reported that the bid by Karstadt’s new owner Nicolas Berggruen has been rejected by Metro.
The status of the third proposal, that of Austrian Signa and the Greek billionaire George Economou, is unclear. Metro CEO Eckhard Cordes, who has been looking for years to sell Kaufhof, has recently stated he abandoned his hope to sell the chain before the year is over.