LONDON (Brand Republic) - Wal-Mart is said to be close to tying up talks which could lead to a takeover of German supermarket chain Metro.
Metro chief executive Hans-Joachim Korber hinted that the US retailer lacked critical mass in Germany, and that it was looking for further targets there.
Wal-Mart’s present business in Germany -- made up from the acquisition of the Wertkauf and Interspar chains in 1997 -- is flagging, and is not expected to be profitable for another three years.
It is thought Metro would not consider a bid of less than £12.4bn. If the 1,700-store chain was bought, it is likely it would be run by Wal-Mart’s European boss, and former Asda chief executive, Allan Leighton.
Korber refused to confirm whether a deal would be struck, and said “nothing was concrete”.
The move coincides with rumours that Tesco would snap up Metro-owned Real for £3bn. Both companies denied such talks.