November 23, 2017 / 7:56 AM / a year ago

CORRECTED-Russian retailer Dixy's board approves delisting, sets buyback price

(Corrects dateline and day of week in first paragraph)

Nov 23 (Reuters) - Russian food retailer Dixy Group , after 10 years as a public company, said on Thursday its board had decided to delist its shares from the Moscow Exchange and proposed paying 340 roubles a share to those shareholders opposing the decision.

The shares were trading up 3.7 percent at 329.1 at 0751 GMT on Thursday.

The retailer, controlled by Igor Kesayev’s Mercury group, bought back 20 percent of its shares from the market this year, spending 4.5 billion roubles ($75.95 million) and sparking speculation it planned to delist.

Dixy, which has struggled against fierce competition from rivals such as Magnit and X5 as Russian consumers hit by recession grow increasingly price-sensitive.

Its third-quarter revenue dropped though 8.3 percent to 68.8 billion roubles.

The delisting follows two rounds of share buybacks after which less than 9 percent of Dixy’s shares have remained in free float, analysts at BCS investment bank said in a note on Tuesday, adding that the move could be in preparation for a sale of the business.

The shareholders will vote on the delisting on December, 25. For the decision to pass, Dixy needs at least 75 percent of the votes. (Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka and Anna Rzhevkina in Gdynia Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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