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Metro in talks to divest Vietnamese cash-and-carry operations

Published 06 August 2014

German retailer Metro is in advanced talks to sell its cash-and-carry unit in Vietnam to Thailand's Berli Jucker for more than $500m.

The deal comes as the company is looking to trim its sprawling operations and boost profitability.

Berli Jucker approached Metro last year, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the talks.

The cash-and-carry business, which sells wholesale to customers such as hotels, restaurants and independent retailers, accounts for about half of the Metro group's sales, with over 750 stores in 28 countries in Europe and Asia.

Metro also runs Europe's largest consumer electronics chain Media-Saturn as well as Real hypermarkets and Kaufhof department stores in Germany.

Recently, Europe's fourth-biggest retailer faced a setback in Russia in March, when it postponed plans for an IPO of its Russian cash & carry operations.

Metro blamed instability caused by tensions between Russia and the West. The proceeds from floating a minority stake in the operations were earmarked to fund expansion of the Russian business.

Metro presently operates 19 stores across the country with around 4,000 employees. In 2012/13 fiscal year, the retailer witnessed sales of $692m.