The uncertain future of Real

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SIf the retailer Metro and the consortium around the real estate investor Redos had to agree to the sale of the subsidiary Real as planned by the summer, the weakening supermarket chain is threatened with a profound restructuring. The investor has presented a convincing concept, which among other things build on the continuation of the brand Real, said Metro CEO Olaf Koch on Thursday for the presentation of the semi-annual report. That does not mean that it can continue without necessary changes. On the contrary, as the current figures show, a significant adjustment of the business model, the cost structures and the branch network is required.

Brigitte Koch

The retailer had agreed on Wednesday with Redos on exclusive negotiations for the sale of the long-standing problem child. The framework concept is to sell Real as a whole, in addition to the operating business, including the approximately 65 own-owned markets of the approximately 280-unit network of stores. The consortium is said to include Morgan Stanley Real Estate and the Hamburg-based project developer ECE, which also specializes in retail real estate.

Employee representatives fear busting

Koch does not want to say how many of Real's outlets end up out of business for economic reasons. The details of the realignment will be worked out by Redos in the coming weeks together with the Real-Management. There were no preliminary agreements on the transfer of individual branch portfolios to other trading companies, although many had already expressed their interest. The Redos management had stressed on Wednesday to place great emphasis on the takeover of employees in the case of location taxes.

Since Metro Real put it on the sales list last fall, the employee representatives fear a breakup of the chain, which has recently implemented around seven billion euros with around 34,000 employees. According to information in the journal "Lebensmittelzeitung" the food retailer Edeka should have contacts to the consortium and hope to take over ideally up to 100 locations. Kaufland has also expressed its interest in acquiring houses. Of course, Koch has repeatedly emphasized in the previous sales process that he does not want to get involved in antitrust risks.

(tToTranslate) Olaf Koch (t) Metro (t) ISIN_DE0007257503 (t) F.A.Z. (t) Morgan Stanley Real Estate (t) ECE (t) Restructuring

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