BERLIN Metro AG confirmed today it has another suitor for Kaufhof.

KarstadtQuelle AG’s former chief executive officer Wolfgang Urban, representing a group of German families in the retail and real estate sectors, has presented the Dusseldorf-based Metro Group with a takeover bid for the 139-door department store chain.  

However, a Metro spokesman said he could not confirm or comment on reports this morning that Metro rejected a bid from Karstadt owner Nicolas Berggruen. Berggruen is said to have made separate bids for the Kaufhof business and for the firm’s real estate.

Austrian real estate company Signa Group is also in talks with Metro, and Spanish chain El Corte Ingles has also reportedly shown interest. 

Kaufhof generated sales of 3.6 billion euros, or $4.78 billion, in 2010.  Metro’s search for a buyer for Kaufhof started in 2008 when the group decided the retailer was no longer strategic to its core business.

In an interview with German press agency DPA, Metro ceo Eckhard Cordes said he does not expect to sell Kaufhof this year. Current bids for Kaufhof are said to be between 2 billion and 3 billion euros.

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