Metro soars on takeover speculation as stake sold

Ceconomy says it may join family-owned Haniel in selling stake in the German retailer

Metro shares rose as much as 18 per cent and closed 12.23 per cent ahead on Germany’s mid-cap index on Monday. Photograph: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

Metro shares rose as much as 18 per cent and closed 12.23 per cent ahead on Germany’s mid-cap index on Monday. Photograph: Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

 

Shares in Metro jumped on Monday as Ceconomy announced it may join family-owned Haniel in selling a stake in the German retailer to an investor group led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

The news stoked speculation that Kretinsky – and Slovak investor Patrik Tkac, with whom he is buying a Metro stake from Haniel – might make a full bid for the company, shares of which have fallen by a third this year.

Ceconomy, the consumer electronics retailer that split off from Metro last year, said on Monday it was in talks to sell most of its 10 per cent stake in Metro to investor group EP Investment, represented by Kretinsky.

Metro shares rose as much as 18 per cent and closed 12.23 per cent ahead on Germany’s mid-cap index. Ceconomy was up 4.4 per cent.

If the Ceconomy sale takes place and the Czech and Slovak investors exercise a call option to buy the full Haniel stake, then EP would own 31.5 per cent, above the 30 per cent threshold that would require them under German law to bid for the whole company. – Reuters