(Repeats to add reporter's name)
PARIS, March 24 Rothschild & Co will study strategic options, including a possible flotation or sale, for French frozen food retailer Picard after winning the mandate from its owners, sources close to the matter told Reuters.
Picard was bought in 2010 by Lion Capital, which later sold a 49 percent stake to Swiss frozen baked goods maker Aryzta . It has about 920 shops across France with annual sales of 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 bln).
"A mandate was given to Rothschild," said one source.
A second source confirmed the information and said the bank would now assess the various options available for the chain.
"There is nothing concrete at this stage. Everything is possible. An IPO (initial public offering) is not excluded," the source said, adding that a sale was also an option.
Aryzta has said it plans to evaluate alternatives for its 49 percent stake in Picard, bought less than two years ago, saying any proceeds would go to strengthening its balance sheet.
Neither Rothschild, Lion Capital or Arytza were immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Mathieu Protard and Julien Ponthus; writing by John Irish; editing by Susan Fenton)
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