Metro, the parent group of German department store chain Kaufhof, which also runs the Sportarena banner, has confirmed talks with René Benko, the Austrian owner of competitor Karstadt. While not denying discussions about a possible merger of the two chains, Metro Group was quick to say that the talks were non-committal and will remain so in future. The retail corporation insists that it is in no hurry because it sees its Kaufhof chain as a successful business, and, therefore, has no need to take decisions just now. In other words, the company in a hurry for action is Karstadt, not Kaufhof, in order to get its loss-making operations back on track. Metro can sit back and wait for Karstadt to come up with an attractive offer. One rumor has it that Benko’s holding company Signa would be ready to pay between €2.5-2.7 billion for competitor Kaufhof.