* 99.95 pct at AGM vote in favour
* CEO says open for partnerships, maybe M&A
(Adds comments from AGM)
BERLIN Feb 6 Shareholders in Metro
voted on Monday in favour of a plan to split the German retailer
into two companies, one a wholesale and hypermarket food
business, and the other Europe's biggest consumer electronics
Metro, a sprawling conglomerate with 2,000 stores in 29
countries, has been restructuring in recent years to focus on
cash-and-carry and consumer electronics, selling its Kaufhof
department stores and Real supermarkets in eastern Europe.
It said in a statement on Monday that 99.95 percent of the
voting share capital represented voted in favour of the split.
Metro hopes the split will help the independent companies
pursue more acquisitions and trigger a revaluation of the stock
as Metro currently trades at a discount to other pure wholesale
retailers such as Sysco and Britain's Booker.
Metro last week reported slightly lower than expected profit
in the critical Christmas quarter, hurt by the performance of
its cash and carry and hypermarket businesses.
Metro plans to spin off and separately list the food
business by the middle of the year, with that group retaining
the Metro name while the Media-Saturn consumer electronics
business will be renamed Ceconomy.
"We will be more open for partnerships and maybe also for
acquisitions and mergers," Chief Executive Olaf Koch told the
annual shareholders meeting.
While the attractiveness of the wholesale business has been
underlined by Tesco's offer to buy Booker, the consumer
electronics sector is also seen as ripe for mergers as fierce
competition from the likes of Amazon squeezes margins.
Media-Saturn, which runs more than 1,000 stores in 15
countries in Europe, has long been seen as a candidate to merge
with its closest rival in the region, Britain's Dixons Carphone
, and overtake Best Buy as the world's leading
consumer electronics chain.
(Reporting by Emma Thomasson and Victoria Bryan; editing by