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Germany’s Douglas mandates bank to sell book store chain, say sources-Reuters

(Reuters) – German retailer Douglas has mandated investment bank Macquarie to organize the sale of its Thalia book stores division, which is facing stiff competition from Amazon, according to two people familiar with the deal.

Since being taken private by buyout group Advent last year, Douglas has decided to focus on its beauty products business, buying up French perfumeries chain Nocibe and selling its confectionery stores.

Thalia, with around 300 book stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, has struggled to deal with the rise of online retailers.

Douglas is aiming to return to the stock exchange as early as the second quarter of 2015, and initial plans to float a group comprising the perfume shops and the book store chain have been shelved, the sources said.

Douglas, Advent and Macquarie declined to comment.