Oct 28, 2009
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Italy's Gruppo Coin in talks for retailer Upim

Oct 28, 2009


MILAN, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Italian department store chain Gruppo Coin (GCN.MI) is in talks to buy retailer Upim, it said in a statement on Wednesday 28 October, sending its shares higher.

"Timing for an eventual conclusion of talks can be considered to be reasonably swift," Gruppo Coin said.

Gruppo Coin shares were up 2.7 percent at 3.80 euros at 1144 GMT.

Upim is controlled by upmarket department store chain La Rinascente, whose investors are Investitori Associati, Deutsche Bank Real Estate Opportunities Group, Pirelli Real Estate (PCRE.MI) and Italy's Gruppo Borletti.

Gruppo Coin said due diligence was underway and a deal to integrate the two would also depend on agreements with financial institutions. No financial details were disclosed.

Gruppo Coin has a market capitalisation of about 490 million euros ($727 million).

Earlier on Wednesday 28 October Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore had reported Gruppo Coin could announce a merger with Upim in November in a deal in which creditor banks UniCredit (CRDI.MI) and Natixis will convert part of their Upim debt into shares.

Upim's banks are exposed for 140 million euros, the paper said in the unsourced report.

Gruppo Coin's Coin brand sells clothes, home decorations, accessories and beauty products in its stores. Upim sells clothes, accessories and beauty products but its shops tend to be smaller in size than Coin outlets. (Editing by David Holmes) ($1=.6740 Euro)

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