Metro Group is said to be preparing for the sale of its hypermarket chain Real with hopes of achieving R2bn (£1.7bn) for the company’s stores.

Though the official sale process has not begun, investors including KKR, Apax and Apollo, as well as a French investor group led by former chief executive of Carrefour Daniel Bernard are said to be interested. Metro is hoping to be able to sell the chain as a whole, but declined to comment on whether property and liabilities would be included.