The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company has sold all of its 11,726,645 shares of Metro, the Canadian grocer.

Great Atlantic said that the deal had been made in connection with financing of the acquisition of Pathmark Stores. Some 1,500,000 of the shares being sold will be acquired by Metro itself.

Gross proceeds from the sale of the shares will be approximately US$347m.
Earlier this month, Great Atlantic repeated its belief that it will complete its US$1.3bn takeover of regional retailer Pathmark early next month.

A&P, which agreed to buy Pathmark in March, has faced a series of delays in sealing the deal due to an ongoing anti-trust investigation from the Federal Trade Commission.

A&P, which is owned by German conglomerate Tengelmann, has agreed to sell off an unspecified number of stores at the behest of the FTC.

The retailer said it had given notice to the FTC that it planned to "consummate" the deal after 27 November.

A&P operates 337 stores; Pathmark runs 140 supermarkets in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.

In October, Great Atlantic reported a rise in it second quarter sales, as the supermarket operator continues to restructure. However, the company also reported that its losses widened in the period, compared to last year.

Sales for the second quarter were $1.3 billion versus $1.2bn last year. Comparable store sales increased 3.2%. Net loss from continuing operations was $2.9m or $0.07 per share in the second quarter versus a loss of $2.2 million or $0.05 per share in the same period last year.