Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A&P selling Metro stock to help finance Pathmark deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Supermarket chain The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Inc (GAP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday it intends to sell all its 11.7 million shares of Canada's Metro Inc (MRUa.TO: Quote, Profile, Research) to minimize its indebtedness in A&P's planned $690 million acquisition of Pathmark Stores Inc (PTMK.O: Quote, Profile, Research)

(PTMK.O: Quote, Profile, Research).

Based on the closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange on November 2, the value of the Metro shares was approximately $435 million, A&P said. The stock closed up C24 cents on Monday at

C$35.00.

The U.S. supermarket chain expects to use the proceeds, together with borrowing under a reduced bridge facility and a portion of its increased $675 million funding from a group of lenders, to finance the Pathmark deal.

In March, A&P sold 6.35 million shares of Metro, generating proceeds of $203.5 million.

A&P said if it cannot sell the Metro shares, it intends to finance the merger with committed financing, including borrowing under the bridge facility or an offering of senior secured notes.

A&P currently expects the Pathmark acquisition to close by the end of December.

(Reporting by Steve James; editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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