German giant also rejigs Real board
German supermarket group Metro is to conduct a comprehensive review of all strategic options available for its home improvement and DIY operation Praktiker.

Options include a divestiture of the company, a potential listing of a majority stake through an IPO, or development of the business within Metro Group. Broker JP Morgan is acting with the retailer in the evaluation.

'Based on improvements of its German operations, as well as the achievement of leadership positions in Eastern Europe, Praktiker is now excellently positioned for further growth either within Metro or on a standalone basis,' said Metro chief executive officer Dr Hans-Joachim Körber.

Praktiker is one of Europe's leading DIY operators, with sales of about Eu3 billion (£2 billion) and an operating profit of Eu59 million (£39.3 million) last year. Praktiker operates about 339 stores in nine European countries.

Metro has also announced a boardroom reshuffle at its Real hypermarkets division, following a review under way since February. Real chairman Uwe Hölzer has resigned with immediate effect and Stefan Feuerstein, already a member of Metro's management board, will add the food retail business to his responsibilities until further notice.

Real is targeting Eastern Europe for growth and is to open its first hypermarket in Moscow next month, with further plans to enter Romania on the cards.