According to three sources, potential buyers includeSuningHoldings, Wumart and Yonghui Supermarket. Private equity firms such as Hillhouse Capital and Bain Capital are also studying potential deals, people familiar with the matter add.
A spokesman for Metro in Germany said the company was in talks with potential partners about the future development of its business in China, but did not comment on details of exchanges with potential partners or on the sale process.
Reuters has previously reported that Alibaba Group is negotiating with Metro to consider a stake in the latter's business in China.
Metro, once a huge retail group, has been restructuring in recent years to focus on its core spot-purchase and self-transport business, selling Kaufhof Department stores, and then separating it from Ceconomy, a consumer electronics group.