Metro's sale of Vobis to CHS called off

Metro's sale of Vobis to CHS called off

The sale of Germany's Vobis AG computer retail, assembly and distribution group -- from German retail powerhouse Metro AG to US distributor CHS Electronics -- was called off last weekend as both sides blamed each other for not meeting contractual obligations.

"All conditions for the conclusion of the sales contract had been met by Metro AG," according to a company statement. "Due to current unfavourable conditions in the international financial markets, CHS was not able to pay the purchase price despite extensions to the original terms. Metro AG will now pursue necessary measures to safeguard its legal position against CHS."

CHS then responded with its own release issued in the afternoon blaming Metro for not meeting all of its contractual obligations.

"CHS will pursue all necessary measures to safeguard its legal position against Metro AG," the statement read, quoting Claudio Osorio, chairman and chief executive officer of CHS Electronics.

"Considering current market conditions, our shareholders and subsidiaries are better served by redeploying into the business the significant amounts of outside financing and CHS cash that we arranged to complete the acquisition," Osorio said.

"Though we at CHS are disappointed by this turn of events, we continue to have profitable operations around the world."

Officials at CHS declined further comment, saying the press release speaks for itself. Metro, meanwhile, could not be reached because of the time difference.

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