X5 Retail intends to realise option to buy Karusel

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London – Russia's X5 Retail Group said on Tuesday that it intends to realise its call option to buy the Karusel hypermarket chain if it considers it to be beneficial to the group at that time.

"X5 Retail Group NV has a call option to acquire the Karusel chain," said Chief Executive Lev Khasis. "We confirm our intention to realize this option in case we consider this to be beneficial to the group."

Following a report today from Reuters and reproduced by other news outlets, which regards alleged sale talks between Karusel hypermarket chain and Wal-Mart Stores Inc , key Karusel shareholder Andrei Rogachev said: 'The shareholders of Karusel do not participate directly in negotiations with Wal-Mart.'

He said that two years ago Karusel hired a major investment bank, which is 'doing its job at a high level'. The Karusel shareholders will meet their obligations under the option agreement with X5 Retail Group, he continued.

He also clarified that the Karusel business can be sold to an international operator only if X5 refuses to execute its call option.In such a case Karusel chain will be sold through the dedicated investment bank at a highest price.'

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