Wires

Karstadt/Kaufhof merger still makes sense-Berggruen

FRANKFURT, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor NicolasBerggruen said a merger of his retail chain Karstadt and Metro's

Kaufhof department stores would still "make a lot ofsense", he was quoted by the WAZ newspaper group.

"But it takes two to achieve this and unfortunately thereare no signs that the current situation is going to change," hesaid in an advance copy of an interview ahead of its publicationon Monday.

Metro, the world's No.4 retailer, in January suspended thesale of its Kaufhof department stores, valued at 2-3 billioneuros ($2.6-3.9 billion), saying potential buyers werestruggling to raise funds.

Those interested in Kaufhof included Austrian propertyinvestor Rene Benko, bidding via his investment vehicle Signa,and Berggruen, the plane-hopping investor known as the 'homelessbillionaire'.($1 = 0.7657 euros)

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Ron Askew)

((christoph.steitz@thomsonreuters.com)(+49 69 75651269)(Reuters Messaging:christoph.steitz.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: KARSTADT KAUFHOF/MERGER