Metro Group is considering various options to raise funding for its Russian cash-and-carry unit, including a “partial IPO”.

A spokesperson for the German retail giant told just-food: “We are currently reviewing additional funding source options for a step-up in expansion. One of these possible options could be the stock listing of a minority share in Metro Cash & Carry Russia; thereby retaining control of the business in the long term. This would both be part of the strategy to strengthen the balance sheet as well as secure further growth possibilities.”

Metro is targeting an “accelerated”, “sustainable” growth at its Russian operation, while, at the same time, strengthening its balance sheet, the spokesperson added.

“The Russian cash-and-carry business is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of the group. Metro Cash and Carry Russia has quickly become one of the largest growth drivers in the group with more than EUR4bn (US$5.37bn) in annual sales and over 70 stores. In the future, we intend to further tap into the still strong Russian market growth potential from the already strong market position of our Russian wholesale subsidiary.”

No formal decision has yet been made on whether to list shares in the business.