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BERLIN-Wal-Mart has agreed to sell its 85 stores in Germany to the Duesseldorf-based Metro AG for an undisclosed sum. The deal ends a 10-year attempt by the world’s largest retailer to penetrate the market.

“After we concentrated our activities in areas of our growth strategy that we believed would promise the greatest success, it became increasingly clear that under the current economic situation in Germany it is difficult to achieve the size and results that we are seeking,” Michael Duke, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. vice chairman, says in a statement. Metro says in a statement the company would see a positive financial effect from the transaction, but neither company provided any details.

Wal-Mart’s German stores had sales near $2.55 billion in 2005, Metro says. They will be incorporated into Metro’s Real Hypermarket brand, the company adds.

“The sale of this division gives us the chance to concentrate on the markets where we are able to better achieve our goals,” Duke says. The deal includes the takeover of 19 Wal-Mart assets and the remainder of the stores will be leased. The deal remains subject to approval by authorities.

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