[SWE] Metro divests shares in its South Korean operation

Metro International S.A. today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell the shares in its South Korean operations to two of its partners in the operation. As a part of this transaction, Metro has entered into a franchise agreement which entitles Metro to franchise fees based on a percentage on Metro Korea’s sales.

The acquisition price for Metro’s 29.99 percent participation in Metro Korea is €4.9 million. Due to South Korean capital gains tax, Metro will receive a net amount of €4.4 million. The net amount will be paid in two instalments; the first one of €4.2 million on the transaction day which is today and the second one of €0.2 million in twelve months.

The shares in Metro Korea had a book value of €5.0 million on 30 September 2010 following the write down of €1.1 million based on price indication. Thus, Metro will incur in Q4 a loss of €0.6 million.

Per Mikael Jensen, President and CEO of Metro International, commented: ”Metro Korea has a daily readership of 700 000 and has shown stable performance since the launch in 2002. I look forward to continuing the cooperation with our partners in Metro Korea on a franchise basis and to develop the Metro brand in Korea. The payment of €4.4 million for Metro’s stake is equivalent to more than 40 times the dividends which Metro received in 2009, and will free up resources for Metro to invest in emerging markets.”

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