According to people familiar with the matter, Charoen Pokphand Group Co. and Reliance Industries Ltd. are among the suitors for German retailer Metro AG’s wholesale operations in India, as the companies seek to expand their retail portfolio in one of the world’s largest consumer markets.
According to the sources, the Thai conglomerate led by tycoon Dhanin Chearavanont and its Indian counterpart led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani has both submitted non-binding bids. According to the people, Amazon.com Inc., whose founder Jeff Bezos is the world’s second-richest man, is also considering making an offer.
According to one of the people who asked not to be identified because the information is private, Metro has been working with advisers on a potential sale of the Indian business, which could fetch a valuation of $1 billion to $1.2 billion. Suitors could be shortlisted for the next round of bidding as early as August, according to the source.
Deliberations are ongoing, and companies may reject any offers, according to the sources. Metro has not made a final decision, and details may change in the future, they added. Amazon, Metro, and Reliance declined to comment, and CP Group did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
According to its website, Metro entered the Indian market in 2003 and currently operates 31 wholesale distribution centres across the country, serving only business customers. Its primary customers include hotels, restaurants, and various types of corporations such as small retailers.
Amazon shares fell 3.3% in the United States on Monday, while Reliance fell about 0.6% in early Tuesday trading in Mumbai