(Reuters) The family owners of German shoe chain Reno have asked investment bank Rothschild to find a buyer for the company, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Previously owned by Metro, Reno owner HR Group is Germany’s largest shoe retailer after Deichmann, and has 650 million euros in annual sales, according to its website.
The business comprises wholesale unit Hamm, which is doing well, and struggling retail unit Reno, which has 750 outlets, one of the sources said, declining to provide an estimate on HR Group’s prospective enterprise value.
Hamm was founded as a leather trading company in 1888, while Reno started in 1977 as a mail-order group. The two merged in 2005 to form HR Group.
Other medium-sized shoe retailers are expected to show interest when the auction begins after the summer, the source added, cautioning that no deal was certain.
Private equity funds with a penchant for retail as well as investors specialising in restructuring companies may also be interested in the asset.
Reno’s peers include Leiser and Goertz. Buyout groups like Permira, Bridgepoint, Apax and Blackstone have invested in German retail companies in the past, as have distressed-focused groups like Sun Capital or Cerberus.
Former Metro manager Siegfried Kaske owns 50 percent of the business, and the Hamm family and other investors own the rest.
HR Group and Rothschild declined to comment, while Kaske did not immediately respond to a request for comment.